[Review] Aeon Zen – Transversal

Originally born as a solo project by Rich Gray in 2008, Aeon Zen has quickly evolved into a highly regarded project of the modern Progressive Metal scene. On September 24, 2021 “Transversal” is released, a concept album divided into 10 acts that confirm the good things proposed previously. The opener “I: Twilight” that begins with an atmospheric background on which the acoustic guitar with soft melodies and a warm and expressive vocal are inserted. The guitar and keyboards impsati are pleasant and the track increases in intensity with the passing of the minutes, while maintaining symphonic developments, with a fine guitar solo in the instrumental section. The vocal of the previous one connects us to “II: A New Day” which begins with pompous keyboards and massive guitar riffs, the rhythm session with continuous tempo changes is an added value and creates the conditions for always original solutions. In the second part accelerated Metal alternate with symphonic openings with also a soft vocal, a successful and very pleasant blend. “III: Chase The Sunrise” begins with a dreamy piano arpeggio, but with the entry of the instruments the track offers a well-made melodic Prog Metal. The guitar inserts are precise and emotional, as well as the vocal which dates well to the various situations of the piece. The mixture between softer parts and more heavy ones is spot on and the track is engaging and with melodies that remain in the head. In the second part, an excellent balance is created between sung parts and instrumental sections, where the solo intertwining between guitar and keyboard is of a high level. the track closes with power and intricate rhythms and melodies and a very beautiful musical crescendo. The power that closes the previous act continues in the intro of “IV: 10.000 Eyes,” which continues the theme softening with the entry of the vocal. The sung here is full of pathos both in the soloist and in the choirs, it is a shorter track of the album, but very intense and emotional. The closure with a double drum pedal, starts “V: Force Of Fire” which develops on keyboard virtuosity and massive guitar riffs. The theme develops on a pulled music, where the singer offers a solid proof, with a strong voice, which after about 1 minute gives way to the following. “VI: Lines Redrawn” also this track starts straight away, with pompous orchestral inserts, a good performance of Symphonic Power Metal at the highest levels. In the second part a guitar solo takes the stage and then concludes with the initial theme. “VII: Purgatory Rechristened” has a good mix of keyboards and guitar over a tight rhythm session, reminiscent of classic Power Metal. The vocal is powerful and supported by the choirs, also creating a good melodic refrain. The track is one of the most powerful of the album, which with the passing of the minutes and the tracks has increased in power and intensity, in a very positive way. The guitar offers good virtuosic inserts, especially in the second part which is more instrumental, and the return of the singing closes the piece. the shorter passage of the album “VIII: Twilight Reprise” features pompous choral backgrounds, to then lay the groundwork for the following with hard guitar riffs. “IX: It Ends As It Began” which manages to mix a soft section in the first part, and then in the middle of the song increase the intensity and offer a more accelerated and powerful track. The guitar works are valuable, while the rhythm session creates sophisticated fills and intricate tempo changes. The keyboards communicate best with the guitar, and then conclude between sung and instrumental parts with the keyboards in evidence. “X: Forever” concludes the album leaving us with good feelings. After a short piano intro the track with the softer and more symphonic atmospheres comes to life. The final in descent with piano and voice closes this very pleasant concept. An album that confirms the good things heard in previous works, where the intertwining of symphonic parts and other harder parts is successful and is an added value. A listening recommended to all lovers of Prog Metal sounds, with Power and Symhponic nuances, which will be able to gather support from a large number of Metal lovers.

Tracklist

  1. I: Twilight
  2. II: A New Day
  3. III: Chase The Sunrise
  4. IV: 10.000 Eyes
  5. V: Force Of Fire
  6. VI: Lines Redrawn
  7. VII: Purgatory Rechristened
  8. VIII: Twilight Reprise
  9. IX: It Ends As It Began
  10. X: Forever

Lineup

Rich Gray / Rhythm and Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
Andi Kravljaca / Lead Vocals
Alistair Bell / Lead Guitar
Steve Burton / Drums

Guest Solos:
Vadim Pruzhanov (ex-DragonForce, Solo) / Keyboard solo in “III: Chase The Sunrise
Matt Shepherd (ex-Aeon Zen) / Guitar solo in “IX: It Ends As It Began

Choir:
Alistair Bell, Clay Dean, Alyce Gray, Rich Gray, Iris Van ‘t Veer, Tom De Wit

Aeon Zen |andcamp|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

Layered Reality Productions |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Instagram|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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