Zen - Gaze Into The Light


Year of Release: 1998
Label: Music Is Intelligence/WMMS
Catalog Number:
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:07:00

THE VOCALS:

Easily one of the best Italian singers on the scene today. This singer has escaped the dreaded "Curse of the Italian singer" syndrome, and proves that there are masterful voices out there in Italian prog metal. As always, to give an idea of who he might sound like for readers' advantage, I'd say he sounds like a cross between James LaBrie and Geoff Tatewith a slight Italian accent when he sings in his softer voice during the quiet, acoustic passages. The emphasis here is on LaBrie though, and comes dangerously close to sometimes making you think it might even be LaBrie making a guest appearance on this disc. This guy has tons of range, and can get up quite high, although he opts to stay in hisrange most of the time, venturing into much higher levels a few times just to let us know what he is capable of doing. Try to imagine what James LaBrie would sound like with a slight Italian accent, and you pretty much have what Andrea Polidoro sounds like. Feel safe to add him to your list of great Italian singers, he definitely qualifies. I did forget to mention that this is one of the few singers in Italian prog metal who doesn't mind vocal harmonies, and I wish more singers would do this in prog metal. When you have a voice this great, I say harmonize it, and give us 5 times the pleasure.

THE PRODUCTION:

Would all of this praise for the music come to an end by saying that the production wasn't up to par? Well, rest easy, because the production is excellent, especially considering what we have heard come from Italy in the past. Let's get this out of the way immediately; I have always had a problem with most drum sounds in prog metal, and this one is no exception. For the tremendous amount of energy displayed musically on this disc, you would think that the recording would reflect an equally intense drum sound. Well, the drums are perfectly placed in the mix, but then there's that slightly cardboard-sounding snare drum that always plagues these bands. Happily, it is not as bad as I make it sound, it just could be a bit better, but this is the ONLY complaint I can find with this disc, and that is mild compared to what you are getting from this band on thewhole. The vocals are distinct, clear and up front as they should be with a singer of this magnitude. The guitar is just a bit back in the mix, but I get the feeling that this is a bit intentional to make way for the massive wall of sound that accompanies him. While crunchy, it has sort of an "electronic" feel to it, but nothing that will take away from any of this greatness. The bass is nice and deep, and can be felt as well as heard, and I compliment the person who recorded this deep sound, it really accents the music. Try this through a subwoofer to feel what I mean by this ...... The keyboards are what really shines here though. There isn't anything held back from this sound, and if you like being surrounded in thick, rich, walls of sound like I do, then this will delight you all the wayfrom start to finish. You can just about pick out every single sound that the keyboard is putting out, and there are plenty of them from to choose from. Organ, synthesizers,pianos abound in a keyboard lover's delight. Dario Di Pasquale is bent on using just aboutevery sound imaginable in his repertoire, and someone forgot to tell him that he is only one man, not a full blown orchestra, because his sound is HUGE. Anyone into keyboarded prog metal as I am will soon be smiling with delight when you hear what this gentleman has to offer in the sound dept.

THE LYRICS:

I normally don't talk lyrics, as they are pretty much open for interpretation from the listener, but I wanted to point out some of the song titles to give you an idea of where this band is at lyrically and visually:

"The New Sunrise," "Gaze Into The Light," "Water Can Cover The Next," "Divine," "Tales From The Deep," "The Invisible Horizon," "Aphasia" .......

I haven't deciphered exactly what the lyrics are about yet, but with titles of songs like these, it sure is going to be thought-provoking.

THE COMMENTS:

If you can remember back to when you first heard When Dream and Day Unite before there were any other DT discs available, then you can imagine what the feeling is like when you hear this disc. Sure, you can call them DT clones, you can say that theyare too influenced by DT, or that the singer sounds too much like LaBrie..... however, when music is played this good, you can only comment on how good this band is, and you'll quickly forget about their influences once you hear how good they are. It never mattered to me personally what a band sounded like, as long as they do it well, and this band does it magnificently. If you love symphonic prog metal as I do, then this is one of the hottest discs to come out in 1998. If you like keyboard driven prog metal as I do, then this will more than satisfy your appetite. If you like Italian prog metal in general, then this is absolutely essential. The best part of hearing new prog metal music, is when you have never heard of a band before, and suddenly a disc like this ends up in your player. I'm putting this on the best realease of 1998 list, it has to be heard. Zen has arrived.


Tracklisting:
The New Sunrise (0:25) / Gaze Into The Light (5:33) / Water Can Cover The Next (10:47) / Divine (7:30) / Tales From The Deep (7:47) / 137.999-Welcome To Zuffenhausen (6:43) / Invisible Horizon (6:24) / Aphasia (7:58)

Musicians:
Andrea Polidoro - vocals
Marco Trovini - guitars
Dario Di Pasquale - keyboards and piano
Ermanno Castan? - bass
Luca Urbinati - drums and percussion

Discography:
Gaze Into The Light (1998)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin IT

Added: July 25th 1999
Reviewer: Larry "LarryD" Daglieri

Hits: 974
Language: english

  

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