(9/10) Mark Zonder and Gary Wehrkamp are well-sounding names in rock and metal. Amongst others, Zonder played with legendary Fates Warning and Warlord, while Wehrkamp is known from Shadow Gallery. These two iconic musicians decided to go for a collaboration and the fruitful result will be available end of May this year.
‘If it’s Real’ is the first album of the ZW Band and it contains with ten songs the best the guys wrote together. The music on this debut is less heavy than you might expect. Zonder and Wehrkamp put their focus on progressive rock music that’s built on bigger soundscapes. Songs like the title track are well-done compositions that don’t laser in on the heavy riff. It’s more the emotional aspect that is touching throughout the album, with ‘If it’s Real’ being a melancholic masterpiece.
Compared to the title track the following ‘I’d Do Anything’ is an almost light-hearted song, still with an emotional depth, being the common theme from start to end. ‘Where are the Children Going’ is another musical beauty with well-placed arcs of melodies before ‘Too Late’ brings the heavier tones to the table.
The ending of this special album is a calm one. The piano-ballad ‘Goodnight’ is a terrific musical farewell before the curtain closes after 45 minutes of exquisite progressive rock. Mark Zonder and Gary Wehrkamp for sure know what they are doing – following their heart and using their musical savvy to transport emotions that doesn’t leave you cold.
- I Can’t Believe
- If It’s Real
- I’d Do Anything
- Last Place
- Two Years
- Where Are The Children Going?
- Too Late
- The Next Big Thing
- It’s Not The End
Genre: Progressive Rock
Release Date: May 24th, 2019