MENNO VON BRUCKEN FOCK

SURRENDER (E)

Artiest / Band: 
ZENIT
ZENIT
  Zenit is a Swiss band and a classic example of a band formed by people who left other groups. Bassist Andy Thommen was co-founder of Clepsydra, keyboardist Ivo Bernasconi (Brainstorm, Zenith) has been playing mainly jazz-rock and progressive music for about three decades and drummer Gigio Pedruzzi was a member of the progressive band Changes. Together with vocalist Lorenzo Sonognini and guitarist Luigi Biamino they recorded Surrender, while Andy Thommen did the engineering and producing. With help from friends on cello, flute and saxophone and even the addition of a children’s choir, the album sounds extremely mature, and the symphonic progressive music undoubtedly brings back memories from the early days of Marillion, Pendragon and so on. Sonognini has a pleasant voice, but in my opinion not too steady and most certainly not a voice with a wide range. He sounds a bit like Fish and sometimes even like Max Werner, the former singer of Kayak. Still the vocals go rather well with the music which is full of surprises and beautiful instrumental interludes. The keyboards are in the fore and apart from the fact that like that, there’s another reason: I don’t like the sound - or maybe the technique? - of the electric guitars now and then. On the other hand the acoustic guitars sound crystal clear and are played with great skills. Because of the saxophone in New1c Zenit sounds a bit like the Dutch outfit Alquin too! Surrender is an album that you have to ‘surrender’ to: give it your full attention and you will like it, but if you listen with insufficient interest you might get irritated by the many strange effects and short pieces this album contains. For me this certainly is not going to be the album of the year 2006, but it’s nice to know some guys in Switserland still make some decent music!