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Zaar - Zaar CD (album) cover





3.94 | 49 ratings

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4 stars Who would have thought that the hurdy gurdy, an antique instrument of such unique design and timbre, could have a place in a rock band? The Hazera brothers and their bandmates thought so, and I'm very glad to be an owner of this great album. Along with Pienza Ethnorkestra's album from the same year, this is one of the two rock albums I know of with prominent hurdy gurdy playing. While that group went for a more fiery approach most of the time, ZAAR knew how to vary their approach from track to track.

What we're presented with here is a varied, creative workout for drums, bass (both electric and upright), guitar and (of course) the inimitable hurdy-gurdy. Gladly, it's done in a decidedly avant-rock style, which makes it all the better for me. The album is all instrumental, except for the short track "Scherzaaaaaaahhhh." The talent of these four musicians is undeniable. Everyone contributes quite a lot to the overall sound of the album, and Yan (RIP) displays some great guitar work throughout. Cosia's hurdy gurdy work can shred your skin to pieces, or melt your heart with its beauty. There aren't many instruments quite as varied as this. The section John mentioned at around 6 1/2 minutes into "Omk" just made me stop everything to really listen to the instrument, a great example of the more "beautiful" side of the hurdy gurdy's sound. This track and "Sefir" are the real highlights for me, though the shorter tracks all have quite a lot to offer as well.

The album is almost a five star for me. As it is, it's "only" a very strong 4.5, and a very treasured album in my collection. It's a very exciting album for fans of avant garde music, and is sure to please most listeners.

SaltyJon | 4/5 |


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