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Vespero — The Four Zoas
(Tonzonen TON076, 2020, CD / LP / DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2020-09-19

The Four Zoas Cover art

Russian psych / prog / space rockers Vespero are back with a new album, The Four Zoas, based on the uncompleted prophetic books by English poet, painter, printmaker, and visionary William Blake. The Four Zoas are Urthona, Urizen, Luvah, and Tharmas, who were created by the fall of Albion in Blake's mythology. As connected to Blake's understanding of the divine, the Zoas are God the Father (Tharmas, sense), the Son of God (Luvah, love), the Holy Ghost (Urthona, imagination), and Satan who was originally of the divine substance (Urizen, reason) and their Emanations represent Sexual Urges (Enion), Nature (Vala), Inspiration (Enitharmon), and Pleasure (Ahania). And Beulah is the realm of the Subconscious, the source of poetic inspiration and of dreams and LOS is the fallen (earthly or human) form of Urthona. All appear as individual instrumental tracks: “Urizen,” “Tharmas,” “Beulah,” Luvah,” “Urthona,” “LOS,” and “The Emanation of the Giant Albion.” Vespero have surpassed themselves with The Four Zoas, maturing their sound and compositional skills far beyond space rock jams. The tracks sound like a subdued Ozric Tentacles crossed with Godspeed You! Black Emperor, plus prog jazz fusion, augmented by exquisite violin and guitar solos. “Urthona” incorporates elements of King Crimson In the Wake of Poseidon era progginess plus analog synths and Mellotron. And the closing 21 minute opus “The Emanation of the Giant Albion” is a superb prog fusion jam with violinist Vitaly Borodin’s flights of fancy conjuring images of Jean Luc Ponty. The surreal artwork alone is worth the price of the disc. Quite an excellent album by an innovative band.

Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): Vespero

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