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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Review: Zierler - Esc

Zierler is a new band created by the Finn Zierler, the man behind Twilight (a prog band in late '90s that brought the amazing “Eye for an eye”) and Beyond Twilight (the band's reincarnation that created one of my favorite albums ever “The devil's hall of fame” featuring Jorn Lande and 2 more albums “Section X” and “For the love of art and the making”). All of Beyond Twilights' work have been characterized by unconventional compositions and high level of musicianship.

Since 2006 Finn has only made sporadic appearances as guest in bands like Manticora, Nocturnal Alliance and Third Eye. It wasn't until 2014 that I've heard about his new project titled Zierler.

Zierler is really a top notch gathering of musicians. The always superb Kelly Carpenter is taking on vocal duties, his voice is behind albums like Outword's debut, Darkology, Epysode just to mention a few. His singing is really multi diversed think something from Rob Halford insane screams to Jorn Lande soulful and powerful singing, in fact this guy was candidate for Masterplan some years ago and he was also the singer for “Section X”. The rest of the band is completed by the musical expertise of Bobby Jarzombek (Halford, Sebastian Bach, Riot, Spastic Ink, Fates Warning, Arch/Matheos, Iced Earth just to mention a few), Truls Haugen on bass (Circus Maximus) and Per Nilsson on guitars (Scar Symmetry, The Absence).

What can you expect from Zierler? Well the band's press release accurately describes their music that it ranges from Dream Theater to Devin Townsend madness to Queen. And this is exactly what you get. Multi layered vocals and vocal styles from extreme metal to high pitched screaming to intense story telling. Personally I found a lot of Ayreon (another amazing prog project led by Arjen Lucassen) influences also. Musicianship is something you must listen for yourself in order to believe it. Let's simply say that Zierler can easily give any self proclaimed prog band a run for its money. Solos and riffs fly all over the place along with constant rhythm changes along with unconditional and unusual song writing that is definitely moving away from the regular verse/bridge/chorus formula.

Fans of Finn Zierler's work will definitely recognize various musical phrases that have appeared in Beyond Twilight something, I think was definitely done on purpose maybe since his last album came in 2006.

Esc is an album that you must listen to many, many times before coming to a conclusion. It's a difficult and extremely complex album and exactly this might be an issue since for the first couple of times listening to it, I found myself thinking this is a bit too much. However after focusing on it I discovered there is a method to Zierler's madness. This is an album that requires complete attention from the listener's part and in return it will award him with the pleasure of discovering so many things each time he listens to it.

One complaint that I have is that the sound which is very low!! Quite weird and unusual for a modern production so I guess that something might went wrong only with the files that were send for a review.

Zierler have created an amazing piece of music here, give this band a chance it will definitely be worth your time.

Written by Manos Xanthakis

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