Exposé Online banner

Zaragon — No Return
(Ad Perpetuam Memoriam 9405, 1984/1994, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1995-07-01

No Return Cover art

At some point in the past I had heard this obscure Danish five-piece compared with IQ. In fact, after finally hearing it, that assessment seems to be quite inaccurate. Yes, there are some neo-progressive elements here, but Zaragon has little in common with their British counterparts of the same period. Their sound and instrumentation – dominated by the ever-present organ, harkens back to an earlier time. Vocalist Martin Nielsen delivers the English lyrics in a style that sometimes reminds of Steve Walsh of Kansas or Machiavel's Marc Ysaye; yet it's all solo, and with no harmonizing, the vocal arrangements tend to be a bit shallow and unimaginative. This in fact seems to be Zaragon's weakest card. Their strength, however, lies in their powerful instrumental forays led by guitarist Finn Jansen, his incisive tone reminding of Dave Gilmour in the early 70s, yet Jansen's solos quickly jump into high gear, pulling the rest of the band forward. Overall, I'm most often reminded of the excellent Norwegian band Utopian Fields, who had a sound very close to that of Zaragon. A bonus track, "Fear to Fight" – recorded by a reformed Zaragon in 1994, is an old song from the early days that somehow never got the studio treatment. I suppose that also means we might be hearing something new from this band in the future.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 7, 1994 releases, 1984 recordings

Related artist(s): Zaragon

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Herbe Rouge - Herbe Rouge – This progressive group is of the sort that could only come from France in the 70s where a distinctive and idiosyncratic form of weirdness flourished. Like many of their progressive compatriots, Herbe...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues