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Zen Carnival - Bardo CD (album) cover


Zen Carnival


Crossover Prog

3.53 | 13 ratings

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4 stars Carnival of styles ...

This current release of ZEN CARNIVAL is worth it listening to for every minute. The music of 'Bardo' consists of great variety - mainly neoprog, canterbury and symphonic inspired. The nasal vocals are attracting attention, often reminding of Steve Hogarth. Listening to this album you cannot ignore that the band has made great efforts to reach perfectionism. So it took over 6 years before this release was finally published. All the songs are in a different way - with references to the 70s Prog but also new, fresh and innovative - with an amazing result in its entirety.

The beginning of 'Bardo' is very Canterbury influenced. Synthy keys are opening Solar Circles but then a nice bass groove by Bill Denison gets the control accompanied by a guitar solo and piano - by no means a promising opener. In this World remembers me at the early CARAVAN, cheerful, nonchalant and relaxed in a very special way. Blindness is mainly symphonic and very melancholic. First of all the song convinces with beautiful simultaneous piano and vocals at the beginning and then developes to an excellent song full of variety. Coax is a great fusion jam - grooving, with some mystic avant keyboards - fantastic!

With Half awake we can listen to a slowtempo and very melodic/sentimental song dominated by the keys and vocals. Shadows Peak on the other hand is under strong neoprog influence, a bit more aggressive and rocking but has also some psychedelic moments. The Gate is a short piece which first of all reminds me of CAMEL because of the guitar playing similar to Andy Latimer. Pins and Needles is the longest track and probably the best with some surprising turns and tempo changes including sitar alike guitar playing.

Then we have Beneath White - a ballad which starts as a TALK TALK cover and then immediately developes into a floydy space rocker at the end (and unfortunately finishs too early!) - wonderful! And from now on we are getting a little bit eclectic. Zeitgeist is an interesting avant/fusion peace with some sampled voices and Evening of our days and Coda are atmospheric ambient slow tempo songs closing this exciting production.

In summary a big highlight in 2006. Actually ZEN CARNIVAL still seems to be a quit tip. They are writing on a new album and I'm very curious about it. I recommend to keep an eye on this band - one eye at the minimum! 4.5 stars

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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