ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


Alizarin - 2018 - "Cast Zenith"

(46:15; Alizarin)


Sometimes I see something in a press release which is just wasted given how few people will read it, so I am going to repeat how this band has been described to me. “Consider if King Crimson and Opeth had a baby but were force to raise it outside the city, due to an overabundance of djentrification.” I’m not actually sure that I really agree with that statement, as these guys have plenty of more symphonic and crossover elements as well, but I have to admit that it is a great quote. Alizarin are Josh Kay on guitar, Jon Damon on drums, and Steve Ostaszewski on bass, while keyboard player Adam Holzman (Miles Davis, and so very many more) is also very heavily involved. This isn’t a trio with someone else providing nuances and odd touches, but rather a quartet with everyone fully participating. Big Big Train have obviously had an impact, as has Steven Wilson, while the lead guitar sounds as if there has been more influences from the likes of Steve Vai and Zappa than Fripp, as it certainly is far more metallic and in the realms of prog metal than “just” prog rock. The rhythm section are all over the place, in a good way, with loads of jazz influences as well as prog, while Holzman sometimes battles with Kay, sometimes lets him way and provides comforting layers, and sometimes takes the lead himself. There is a lightness, space and confidence on this album, and it certainly doesn’t come across as a self-released debut, but rather from guys who have been around the block. Jazzy prog metal (love the distorted chorded fretless bass on “Anomaly”) which is worth hearing.

Kev Rowland: October 2018

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