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On disc: Zonata



- Tunes Of Steel - Amir Djawadi - 7 stars
- Tunes Of Steel - Claudia Ehrhardt - 7 stars
- Reality - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars
- Reality - Volker Raabe - 8 stars
- Buried Alive - Claudia Ehrhardt - 9 stars









Buried Alive

Buried Alive
(Century Media - 2002)


The Swedish quintet kicks of their latest album with a heavy, fast track which reminds me of Judas Priest at times of Painkiller, but don't expect that all songs sound like that! But the opener and title track can be seen as a reminiscence to the British. But they have more to offer then some Judas Priest sounds. Some tracks are more in the vain of bands like Gamma Ray or Rhapsody (keyboard parts), others have more elements of classic bands like Rainbow. It seems that the band has now found their way... The track Blade Of The Reaper is like a very powerful and heavy Rainbow track. Perhaps they haven't found their own identity yet, even if I thought they did with the last album... I was wrong, I guess... Anyway, a more then decent album. Perhaps the new guitarist Niclas Karlsson (ex-Conviction) is part of this developing... On A Dark Chapter the five-some slow down, get a little melancholy, a track which differs from the rest of the material. Even if they have similar parts in You Betrayer. The band recorded as last time in the Studio Underground in Vsterås, Sweden. At least I have to say that this album will keep spinning in my player for awhile, I guess... Give it a try!


9 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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Reality

Reality
(Century Media - 2001)


This is the second release of the young Swedish band. On their debut Tunes Of Steel the influences by bands like Gamma Ray, Iron Maiden or early Helloween were obvious. With Reality the band made the next step. Now as a quartet they recorded the album in the Swed­ish Studio Underground. The band musi­cally got more mature and the songs are catchier than on the debut. The Swedish youngsters (average age 19!) showed their talent on Tunes Of Steel, at that time the influences were listenable. Again they present melodic speed metal, but now the parallels to their heroes isn't that big anymore. At Illusion Of Madness they added passages which reminds me of Stratovarius...
Other songs are more mid-tempo and a epic ballad (Life?) is included as well. To check out I recommend Symphony Of The Night which includes all the trademarks of Zonatas sound. As a kind of bonus the band re-recorded Gate Of Fear, the song of their first demo which got them on the compilation CD of Germany's RockHard magazine of unsigned bands. This track caught the interest of record companies and finally got them sign the dotted line.


8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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Reality

Reality
(Century Media - 2001)


The Swedish band Zonata is presenting their 2nd album Reality. On the album the quartet shows a catchy songwriting, beautiful melodies and they add some bombastic sounds. They show their skills on songs which are influenced by bands like Gamma Ray, early Helloween and probably a bit Stratovarius. Reality will be a step forward for the band. The songs are excellent produced and the range reaches from a powerful driven title track to the dramatic Hollow Rain - great vocals - to the very melodic Wheel Of Life and the re-recorded demo classic Gate Of Fear. A great album which will finally establish Zonata in the melodic power metal scene.


8 stars

Volker Raabe
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)
 

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Tunes Of Steel

Tunes Of Steel
(Century Media - 1999)


You are into melodic metal? You have about 45 minutes time? Okay, let's discover something new! Discover Zonata!
This 5 young man are on their way to conquer the world of metal. They play traditional metal, but with a fresh sound and good ideas.
In the beginning of 1998 the Nyberg brothers from Sweden founded the band Zonata. Soon they reached a decent level and with a little help from Rock Hard magazine (German metal magazine which once in awhile add a CD with unsigned bands to their print issue) they got a record deal and their debut hit the stores.
The songs have a huge variety and are partly solemn, partly melodic and full of power! And who can do something completely new?!?!? So, it ain't a surprise that you hear reminiscences of well-known bands, but the be influenced by established metal bands can be positive. The have began to develop their own identity, an interesting new band and I hope that they soon get the attention their deserve.
I'm curious to see the Swedish and hope that they soon will tour and then I'll stand first row to see them!!!! Until that day I'll listen to this piece of music again and again! So, who cares about cold winter nights!?!


7 stars

Amir Djawadi
(translation: Claudia Ehrhardt)
 

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Tunes Of Steel

Tunes Of Steel
(Century Media - 1999)


The Swedish five-piece got the first chance to present themselves at a RockHard compilation sampler. A young band from Sweden, founded in 1998 and these days their debut is in the stores. How to describe their sound? Their influences are Helloween, Iron Maiden and Yngwie Malmsteen. Some may think that they are just Hammerfall copycats, but their not! All band members are classically-trained and they combine their skills with the raw sound of 80's metal.
Soon after the Nyberg brothers founded the band they asked a friend to take care of the business stuff. In August 1998 the band recorded a demo called The Copenhagen Tapes. Soon the 500 items were send out for promotion and sold to the first fans. The song Gate Of Fear which was released at the RockHard Unerhört-sampler got them the deal with Century Media. A few shows in Sweden and they entered the studio to record Tunes Of Steel under the control of Andy Classen. It seems that these young dudes have a bright future, if they stay on their choosen path.
Chck out the following tracks: Dream Child, Beyond The Rainbow, Welcome To This World Of Fun


7 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt
 

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           2008-2010 by Claudia Ehrhardt • E-Mail: contact@ice-vajal.com


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