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Zaar - Zaar CD (album) cover





3.94 | 49 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars After the great French band SOTOS broke up the guitarist and drummer decided to form a new band adding a bassist and a hurdy gurdy player. Now I must say that the hurdy gurdy has an interesting sound. Actually it produces many different sounds, from spacey synth-like to sounding like a deranged violin. There are strings and keys on this instrument plus a crank that makes it drone. This is dark and all-instrumental like SOTOS but this album is just a step below SOTOS' "Platypus" record in my opinion. Bob Drake did a great job recording and mixing this album.

"Sefir" is the almost 20 minute opener. Some scorching hurdy gurdy for over a minute then the drums, guitar and bass come in. I like the bass here.The hurdy gurdy is back then it turns intense after 4 1/2 minutes. It settles after 5 minutes and some good atmosphere follows as sounds come and go. It's dark. It starts to build before 10 minutes then the tempo picks up before 12 minutes. Some deep bass after 15 minutes. Some smoking hurdy gurdy before 17 minutes. Great tune. "Zolg" features intricate guitar and drums throughout this short track. Nice. "Ce N'est Pas Triste" is a fairly dark and slow moving track. Kind of eerie later with deep bass lines. "Tougoudougoum" hits the ground running. Great sound ! Uptempo with pounding drums. "Discasambo" is relaxed with light drums and guitar that builds as hurdy gurdy joins in with bass.

"Omk" is the other epic at over 17 minutes. This is good as guitar plays in a relaxed way as cymbals clash. The drums start to rise up and are all over the place. Guitar is still laid back and angular. The guitar is crying out 6 minutes in then it all settles 6 1/2 minutes in as hurdy gurdy comes in solo. Drums and guitar return before 10 1/2 minutes then it calms down again 12 1/2 minutes in. It's building again 14 minutes in and we're cooking before 16 minutes. It then winds down as hurdy gurdy carries on. Outstanding track. "Scherzaaaaaaahhhh" is funny with these multi vocal samples that get really loud late as it blends into "Scherzo #C". It kicks in right away with a full sound and angular melodies. It settles some around a minute as the tempo continues to shift slightly. I really like how this sounds. I keep thinking of ANEKDOTEN. "[.......]" is the dark but gentle closer.

I like and agree with what the sticker says on this cd "For fans of KING CRIMSON, MAGMA, SOTOS, UNIVERS ZERO". I was sad to hear that the Yan Hazera the guitarist has passed away. So sadly this might be the only ZAAR release we get. A solid 4 stars.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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