Reviewed by MJBrady on 12 Sep 2010
Aeon Zen, not a band, but a vehicle for which the musical exploits of which one multi-faceted musician is able to utilize for his creative ideas. Rich Hinks, who writes and performs nearly everything except the drums and vocals, has taken the approach that we have seen other progressive or power metal projects have done in the past. Releases like: Genius-A Rock Opera, Ayreon, Explorers Club, Roswell Six, etc. Have featured multiple lead vocalists to give a face and personality to other project oriented artists output, sometimes with varying results.
I feel the same can be said of this cd, as sometimes the vocals are the reason certain songs stand above others on this cd, Rich Hinks is a good guitarist, yet his other contributions do not stand out as much on keyboards or bass. As mentioned, the better tracks on this cd, for my tastes are where the vocalist stands out, particularly Nil K Rue, from Pagan's Mind, who is typically always very good, I found that some of the vocal performances were a bit strained sounding. Recording quality is decent, musical vision is very safe sounding, with no true identity having so many vocalists.
I would call the music Melodic Power Metal, as the progressive quotient is pretty non-existent, seeing Proggnosis is a progressive site, this cd, while having some very promising material, doesn't quite reach beyond standard, straight time, and fairly predictable melodic metal music. For what it is, it rates very good for that genre, not especially so for the fans of more prog-oriented metal.