Zeno – Zenology II [2005]

Country Germany          Style Melodic Hard Rock

Rating 87/100

Band Members
C.C. Behrens – Drums, Michael Flexig -Vocals, Ule W. Ritgen – Bass, Zeno Roth – Guitars,Keyboards

Additional Musicians
Tommy Heart – Vocals (on tracks 3,4), Rainer Przywara – Keyboards

Tracks
01. Call Of The Heart (4:00), 02. Tonight (4:27), 03. Hard Beat (3:49), 04. Dreaming The Night Away (4:55), 05. Good Game, Bad Game (3:39), 06. Victoria (3:19), 07. On My Way (3:45), 08. Keep Your Love (3:46), 09. Troubled Love (3:34), 10. Time (4:54), 11. Free Again (Eagle Of Love) (3:55)

Profile ‘Zeno’ is the musical outfit of guitarist/songwriter Zeno Roth (younger brother of the legendary Uli Jon Roth). His technical ability matches perfectly that of his brother while he is also keen on writing multiple layer music, often incorporating orchestral arrangements in his latest works. Despite being as talented as his brother Zeno never deviates from the musical subgenre he serves which is melodic hard rock which he takes to an outstanding level.

Zeno’s international recording debut came with their self titled album released in 1986 but for various reasons would not see a follow up for some time. Never the less the absence of Zeno led to the formation of highly acclaimed melodic hard rock band `Fair Warning’ led by Zeno bassist Ule Ritgen.
In the mid 90s `Zeno’ re emerged as a recording artist and went on to release a string of high selling melodic hard rock masterpieces for the Japanese market: `Zenology’ (1995), `Listen to the light (1998) and `Runway to the gods’ (2006).

This release entitled `Zenology II’ is a much needed album for fans as it bridges the gap between Zeno’s debut and his reemergence in the mid 90s. Specifically the album collects recording captured between 1983 and 1989 while being effectively re mastered, therefore demonstrating thick rhythm section, killer guitar sound and perfectly clear vocals. For those experienced in `Zeno’s music it is perfectly understandable that `Zenology II’ as any of his other albums could not be anything less than amazing.

Focusing on the differences this album demonstrates in comparison to Zeno’s other releases, one identifies the guitarist’s lead work taking a slight neoclassical twist at times while Ule Ritgen’s bass playing brings Zeno a step closer to the sound of `Fair Warining’. Unfortunately singer Michael Flexing does not make full use of his amazing vocal capabilities instead he follows a playful/glamorous singing style which is to be expected as these performances were captured throughout the 80s. Overall `Zenology II’ is a must for any fan of `Zeno’, `Fair Warning’, `Dreamtide’ and for anyone demanding their rock to be extra-melodic.

Nikiforos V. Skoumas

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Zeno - Zenology II [2005], 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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