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Zeno Runway To The Gods MTM Music
0681-176
· Produced By: Zeno Roth

· Running Time: 54.15

· Release Date: Out Now

· Released:

· Musical Style: Melodic Hard Rock

· Links: MTM Music
87%
Songs: 85%
Sound: 89%
God, it's that bloke again! Vocalist Michael Bormann makes up for a quiet 12 months with his 3rd record in 2 months. And there is still Redrum to come early next year!
In this case Bormann is the guest, providing the vocals for the songs written and played entirely by that talented German chap Zeno Roth.
Zeno takes his time writing and recording new albums…a lot of time, so it is no surprise to find that some 8 years have now passed since the last album Listen To The Light.
A lot in the world has changed in that time – all expect for Zeno's style. He picks up exactly where he left off in 1998 – Runway To The Gods is a natural successor to Listen To The Light.
As expected from fans of Zeno, this is a record dominated by intricate guitar play. Solos, riffing, overdubs and even more soloing and following that comes the swirling keyboards.
Bormann simply steers the songs where they are supposed to go and gives them the added personality required.
The album opens in typically bombastic style with Fanfares Of Love, a song that begins with a flurry of guitars and simply gets more complex and over the top as it goes. The concluding minute and a half of this rocker is simply ridiculous! (I mean that in a good way!)
Climb The Sky pulls things back a little and Land Of Illusion gets a little more melodic again. One thing is for sure – the 80s influence and the sound of previous Zeno records lives loud and strong in this new record.
Highlights from elsewhere within the record include the big 6 minute plus rock ballad Runway To The Gods; the uptempo and pomp friendly Refugees (Longing For Paradise); the frantic and hard rocking I Feel – I Live and Purify, which features a killer vocal.
The album also features to instrumental tracks - Sunset Birds Flying Home (Celestial Touchdown) and Sogno Di Angelo. Both are ok, but being a vocal fan, I find myself skipping these.
The Bottom Line
If you liked Zeno before, you'll like Zeno now. Particularly if you are a fan of Listen To The Light. I still have a definite soft spot for Zeno's debut and vocalist Michael Flexig, but the sound and style of this album is not far removed from anything he has recorded before.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Zeno
· Zenology
· Listen To The Light
· Zenology II
· Runway To The Gods

Line Up:
· Michael Bormann: All Vocals
· Zeno: Guitars & All Instrumentation

Essential For Fans Of:
· Zeno - Listen To The Light
· Michael Bormann
Track Listing
· Fanfares Of Love *
· Climb The Sky
· Land Of Illusion *
· Shades Of Blue
· Runway To The Gods *
· Sogno Di Angelo
· Refugees (Longing For Paradise)
· I Feel - I Live *
· Purify (Pilgrims Of Remembrance)
· Do You Feel The Time
· Sunset Birds Flying Home (Celestial Touchdown)

--*Best Tracks


15/01/07: Randy Steinberg - randyguitar@juno.com
Rating: 92
So many people always compare albums from the same artist, I'm
not sure this is a fair thing to do.Runway to the God's is a perfect example.This is 8 year's later.Different singer differnt time.The title song and Shades of Blue,Land of Illusion,Climb the Sky are all very good melodic rocker's.Then
you have Fanfares of Love,Refugee's,and Purify right behind makes this an album well worth the money.Great work by both
Zeno and Michael Bormann

31/12/06: Mickey - power1848@aol.com
Rating: 75
Listen to the light was a gift of the gods and it was very likely that it could not be topped. But one thing on the new output Runway to the gods has to be mentioned. The guitar-solos are great! On the guitarlevel Zeno Roth has taken steps to enter the pole position. He even left his fantastic legendary brother Uli behind. Zeno´s solos are so well structured. Any guitarplayer without listening to the last Zeno CDs (Listen to the light and Runway to the gods) makes the biggest mistake of his life. Zeno´s guitarsolos are technically brilliant and on the highest level - and even more important- they are a song inside the song with strong and thoughtful melodies, surprising & clever arrangements and marvelous scale-changes. I would bet my ass that he works half a year on each solo-arrangement. They were already stunning on Listen to the light and they are REALLY GREAT and marvelous on this new album too. Maybe even better on the new CD. This has to be mentioned to do the album justice.

BTW: ONE TRACK HAS THE QUALITY of the best songs of Listen to the light. "Shades Of Blue". Also the two instrumental-tracks are outstanding. I could swear to hear the ultra-high-notes of a seven-string-guitar on the last track "Sunset Birds..." at the very end of the song. It reminds me of the sky guitar of his brother Uli and the feature to play higher notes then normal guitars allow.

Concerning the other tracks of Runway to the gods it is true that Listen to the Light was by far better. The hooklines were superior and also the vocal interpretation fitted better. Let´s hope for the next Zeno output. Hopefully not another 8 years of release latency. I would also love to see a real drummer stepping back onboard. To me the new output Runway to the gods sounds like the drumming was done on a PC or a Mac by using Drums from Hell or simular products. Zeno claims he did all the instruments, so if he really did the drumming then he is great also as a drummer. But to me it sounds not like he played it. It sounds like programmed.

One last thing. Michael Bormann has a fantastic! voice. Maybe he is one of the best singers in germany. He sounds very Bon Jovi-esque and reminds me also of the outputs of DARE, sometimes TEN and on the next chorus a little bit of Joe Lynn Turner when he tries to switch to soul or bluesy vibes. These are all great references... and Michael Bormann easily can achieve their vocal-timbre and also their quality! But here sadly it makes not much sense for the music of Zeno which offered in the past always other musical directions and original roots so far from mainstream or other references. A style-mixture of Bon Jovi and Zeno is like "Sauerkraut with Sahne" and surely not what most fans and supporters expected...

Anyway if you are a guitarplayer this album is really worth buying. It is a must buy! And make sure to grab Listen to the light also for the best song hooklines of the last century.

16/12/06: Andreas - tagesreise@aol.com
Rating: 70
Sorry Andrew... I formerly made a few hours ago the same review but with some misspellings... my english was too weak. I would be honored if you could place THIS EDITED REVIEW:

Honestly I´m very dissapointed. Sure the guitarsolos, licks and guitar melody harmonies are great as one should expect from Zeno Roth. Nothing wrong with that. But in straight comparison with "Listen To the Light" which in my opinion was the best ZENO album ever, this release is weak. Not weak compared to nowadays standards. Compared with 90% of actual releases from other bands this new Zeno CD is still great - don´t get me wrong.

But it is not comparable with "Listen to the light" (LTTL) and Zeno´s formerly high standards. First and sadly the hooklines in general on the new output are not that strong. LTTL had "Love in your eves", "Meet me at the rainbow", "Light of the Morning, "Follow the wind" and "Tommorow arise" which all had firstclass! hooks you will never forget. On the new output I seriously doubt that you can find one song that can match this formerly songwriting/hookline quality.

And even worse: Borman is a great and blessed singer. But his vocals obviously do not fit with Zeno Roths compositions. To me the vocal lines sound like Mr. Bormann "has to wear clothes he did not choose on free will". I do not know why Michael Flexig left the band... but it is obvious that his departure broke the neck of the orgiastic-orchestral-spiritual-divine-attitude this band offered on all previous records and made it so impressive and unique!

Summary: This Zeno Output is better then the average of melodic rock CD´s on the market. But it also marks the weakest point in the career of Zeno Roth. Do me a favor: grab the mobile and call for Mr. Flexig. Let the sun shine again on the tortured planet in the near future! Let our souls be floaded with peace, freedom and divine music.


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