Thursday, March 24, 2011

Zebulon 1980

Another masterpiece from master shige, from beneath the waterlogged ruins of the tragic islands of Nihon...
Classical progressive in the germanic late-seventies style with synth soloing, lush keyboards, digital strings, electric and acoustic guitar arpeggios lulling you into the dreamlands of the isles of Arnold Böcklin with the long drawn-out spectres and sea-images of distant travels and travails... Novalis: "we are nearly awake when we dream about dreaming." This gives me hope there is still uncovered treasure in the lost archipelagos and ruined architectures of the seventies, the lost atlantises of progressive rock buried under the tempested waves battering our frail and fraying memories. We are scraping the bottom of the barrel yes, but here and there we will find a huge monster, an elephant oil field deep from the cretaceous that will reawaken our hopes for a brilliant future of beauty and cocaigne-like plenitude. But then in the morning we look again and find the dream is over, like Prufrock, "voices wake us and we drown," except the remnants of the memory of certitude that could have come about cling to us in a shudder.

From cd reissue again:
" What we have here is the type of album we wish all private symphonic rock albums to be. Not long ago, we featured a band called Profil and their album "For You". Zebulon reminded me of that album, though this is much more keyboard driven [sic] than the purely guitar oriented [sic] Profil. Zebulon has a positive energy, with many hooks and changes, and plenty of fiery solos. At any one time while listening to this, I was reminded of other German bands such as Tonic, Trilogy, Rousseau, Prosper and maybe even the first Amenophis album. Probably the only weakness is the choice of keyboards / synthesizers that are employed - generally of the cheap and tinny variety. It's a small complaint with music this good. The AC comments "This one is straight-up excellent instrumental prog, with a few fusion touches thrown in for good measure. I really enjoy this album, and it seems almost totally unknown." Overall, a superb instrumental progressive rock album."

I don't know if it stands comparison to Tonic or Trilogy, the compositions here are not quite as ingenious and inventive as some other german bands along the same lines, certainly they are more gifted in complexity than Novalis for example, so to me it's more enjoyable; as well the energy level never lets up (there is no slow wimpy song) but after a few listens it all starts to blend together, kind of like italian restaurants wherein varieties of pasta supposedly make for varieties of bona fide foodstuffs. Check out for example track 2 which travels for several minutes in G major, very briefly modulating to E flat but no sooner said than done we go back to the same G riff as if the musicians were frightened of the risks they were taking by changing keys. At least they don't stay in the same chord for an entire long song like so many other teutonic culprits. Notably absent is the sine qua non of prog, the tritone, until in the last track, "zombie d'amour" we get a great minor second dissonance (cluster-like).

We cannot thank the ripper enough for this egregious act of resuscitation in bringing to a wider audience such a phenomenal piece of progressive rock, lost to time, lost to space, lost to the collective jungian consciousness of humanity. (Except in the deepest dreams of beauty.) Along with everyone else we feel so horribly for the people of their country and the impossible injustice of the chance mayhem the world visited upon them. We know that we are in an endless cycle of suffering in this existence, spring must follow winter, snow must follow the cold. Our deaths are necessary for births to come, we must leave for our children to take our places, we have been told to die so nature can change our molds. We are all the same carbon and H2O cycling endlessly through the billions of years the earth has circled around. For human beings, awareness of this paradox is the ultimate suffering, to be cognizant of one's own temporality is the punishment for our eternal minds. We are allowed to think of everything but only at the cost of all thought to be extinguished one day, one unpredictable day.
Therefore, as Gautama Siddhartha taught, it is our duty to reflect upon the only subject there is, the subject of the question of our existence...

Zebulon is

Ollie Ernst......keyboards
Michael Krenke......bass, Siefkophone
Thomas Krenz ......guitar, percussion
Micky Schmidt......drums, percussion

A1 Opium Haut Opi Um 5:32
A2 Crazy Marck 4:16
A3 Pudding Exploison 9:11

B1 Walpurgisnacht 6:06
B2 Galappagos 4:30
B3 Schwanenflug 4:35
B4 Zombie D`Amour 5:18



Tristan Stefan said...





Anonymous said...

Fabulous : an authentic gem !
Thank you very muuch for this very rare treasure !


Anonymous said...

thanks alot,wonderfull album,it's a treasure

Dr Dopo said...

Very nice! A little bit of the 70's spilling into the 80's!

house303 said...

Thank you for this fine album. It was totally unknown to me before and I'm very much pleased with it...

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Anonymous said...

This work deserve to be commented in and out of the forum for its beauty and also for a further homage to our esteemed friend Shige.
As i said in the forum, this was completely unknown to me and suppose to many many others.
Their name Zebulon makes to think at long distant galaxy or quasar at the borders of the Universe.
What is surprising in this work is the incredible freshness of the sound, the continuous waterfall of notes and their complex sequence, and the style, an interlacement of solar, cold and cosmic moods, metallic twinklings and an alien advanced cut.
The style is complex symphonic rock with a strong jazz rock imprint and evident teutonic matrix. Some calibrated influences are from Genesis '76-77 (1st track), Pink Floyd, german cosmic scene and maybe Finch.
Some affinity with Trilogy and Tibet, for some exotic passages, but nothing excessive, all of three bands have a distinctive fantastic personal sound, further, Zebulon and Trilogy recorded in the same year.
I loved this work very much so much.
In a word, stratospheric.
Thank you Shige

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this gem.

Prochedelic Witch said...

Wonderful music, thanks a lot mate

crabula said...

Sounds good, I'll try it, thank you!

Anonymous said...

wonderful album, sounds like a mixture of Novalis (from their self-titled 1975 album) and Mezzoforte (from their 1980 Octopus album). Won't get tired of listening to this one, that's for sure. Thanks a ton!

Manolo said...

Thanks for this beuty jewel

Anonymous said...

amazing, thank you

Tristan Stefan said...
NEW RIP oct 3 2013

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