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ZENO Runway to the Gods
MTM Music (2006)

Eight years since the last studio release 'Listen to the Light' and no Michael Flexig on vocals, instead step forward Jaded Heart's Michael Bormann. The album starts well with 'Fanfare of Love', a typical Zeno number with epic production, catchy chorus and some great guitar playing, as too is 'Land of Illusion'.

But as good a vocalist Michael Bormann (although I find Jaded heart a tad too generic in their sound) is you really do miss the almost operatic voice of Flexig and the harmonies have been toned down slightly as well. Aside from these two songs 'Refugees' hits the mark but 'Shades of Blue' and the title track never really get going.

Some instrumentals to allow Zeno Roth to take centre stage and these are well constructed and stand up to repeated plays.

You can't fault the songs and certainly not Zeno Roth's playing which is as impressive as ever, however for me I would have much preferred Michael Flexig on vocals and more harmonies which the earlier Zeno albums were noted for. Certainly give the album a try if you're an existing fan as many will doubtless enjoy Bormann's voice.


Review by Jason Ritchie

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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