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Zenit - 'The Chandrasekhar Limit' Hot

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Written by Central Electronic Brain     July 29, 2013    
 
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Accomplished, certainly; memorable? Less so.

Scientists amongst you will know that the title of this album is the mathematical threshold defining whether a white dwarf star remains a star or becomes a black hole. This title was chosen as apparently it represents where the band feel they are on their career path.

This is the third album by this Swiss Progressive outfit and it may find a reasonably willing audience amongst those with a liking for Gentle Giant (GG), Fish-era Marillion, Jethro Tull (JT), The Flower Kings (TFK) and early Genesis albeit with a caveat, from my perspective.

Vocalist Lorenzo Sonognini's voice has an uncanny likeness to that of Fish and at other times he adopts a Derek Shulman (GG) vibe with Ian Anderson sensibilities (JT) cropping up occasionally.

Consisting of just six tracks (one of which is less than three minutes in length) you would be right in guessing that the band delivers epic Prog tracks that ebb and flow, develop and meander; therein lays the aforementioned caveat. All the bands I've mentioned had or have the knack of writing long pieces of music and maintaining interest throughout whereas Zenit never achieve that level of consistency. Some of the tracks give the impression that inspiration dried up but the band lacked the ability to self edit thus missing the opportunity of making the songs succinct and punchier affairs in the process.

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In terms of song structures, my thoughts took me towards those of TFK. The difference for me being that the themes and refrains created by Roine Stolt and his cohorts stick in my mind, those of Zenit don't have the same adhesive quality. 'Awaken' has a Marillion 'Sugar Mice' feel to it whilst the lengthy instrumental section dips its toe into Pink Floyd (PF) territory thanks to a phased electric piano sound and a guitar solo redolent of Dave Gilmour courtesy of Luigi Biamino. 'Club Lady' reminds one of JT thanks to the chorus of a multiple voiced refrain. 'PigReco' is a mix of JT and GG that moves between Reggae and Jazz; all a bit confusing really. 'Matrimandir' is sung in Sanskrit which morphs into a Yes pastiche half way through. 'Pulsar' is an instrumental in the TFK style; at their most avant garde. The 25-minute epic 'The Daydream Suite' closes the album and brings with it more PF comparisons.

Accomplished, certainly; memorable? Less so.

Gary Marshall

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