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

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Bill Nelson - Whimsy – Keeping up with Bill Nelson is a difficult task. The man is so prolific that new releases seem to be a mere by-product of his breathing. Luckily he’s supremely talented, and apparently has hit upon...  (2004) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues