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Zen Carnival: Lucid Dreamer

Zen Carnival formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1997 and released their debut Inheritance in 1999. Their second release Bardo came out in 2006. In 2010 the band started recording Lucid Dreamer and after five years we have the finished product.

The band is Bill Denison (guitars, pedal steel, vocals), Michael James (keyboards, grand piano), Ken Pfeifer (lead vocals, keyboards), Carl Puglisi (drums and percussion) and newest member Chris Paglia (electric and upright bass).

The band has quite a unique sound overall, a sort of amalgamation of alternative rock, prog and jazz. The first track "Elemental" has a bit of a psychedelic leaning, very melodic with percolating keyboards and shard-like lead guitar. The title track is much more subdued and majestic with pretty guitar and keyboards. The heavier "Born Again" is a retro sounding tune with ripping bass, excellent lead guitar and scintillating organ flourishes. I was reminded a little of early Jethro Tull. Floating keyboards, ala Gary Wright, lovely acoustic guitar and sweet background harmonies highlight the gentle "When She Cries" while the instrumental "Medieval Suite" heads into fusion territory. The prettiest song has to be the gently flowing "Lullaby" before ending with "Love Is The New Way", a melodic jaunt through progressive pop with the lead vocals reminding me of Steve Hogarth of Marillion.

I am very impressed with Lucid Dreamer, a melodic slice of alternative prog that I will be returning to again and again.

Track Listing:
1. Elemental (5:28)
2. Lucid Dreamer (5:16)
3. Born Again (4:20)
4. When She Cries (5:35)
5. Medieval Suite (4:04)
6. Mysterious Ways (4:35)
7. Lullaby (4:58)
8. Love Is The New Way (3:58)

Added: August 24th 2015
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 2188
Language: english

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