The Unvisible Guide

Zed Yago

I am an American metalhead and that means I have to deal with the disappointing […]
By Amy La Salla
January 23, 2005
Zed Yago - The Unvisible Guide album cover

I am an American metalhead and that means I have to deal with the disappointing tendency of the radio over here to only play bands who are both approved of and American. Very rarely a band from somewhere else will manage to get played but not often. This used to be much more of a problem than it is today, for years I wondered where my favorite bands had gone and haunted the CD stores in my area, keeping a close eye on their part of the rack.
So when I first logged on the Internet, I had one goal in mind... discover what those bands were up to. Were they still recording, where could I purchase them? Zed Yago was one of those tricky bands, it took me a long time to find them. Then something wonderful happened, their official web-site went up. It sometimes had errors but that wasn't the important thing. The important part was that I discovered that they were working on a new album!
Jutta Weinhold has been replaced by Yvonne Durand. The new lady-singer's voice is similar to Jutta's but slightly harsher. Yvonne is at her best during the heavy songs, such as, To The Top Of The Mountain. When Yvonne sings, her accent is slightly less than Jutta's as well. I like the way they combine male and female voices on the songs, however, the quality of their lyrics varies wildly.
As always, Zed Yago's music has a strong Rock vibe to it, you can hear that they originated in the eighties. There have been changes to their sound, however. The music, is excellent but is tinged with industrial. Their keys frequently bring to mind 70's era Rock organ, only done right. I could see these things turning some people off. Personally, I like that sound. The guitar-work hits me where it counts (pounds fist against heart) with beautiful solos and fun riffery.
Heaven Or Hell begins with a short sound-clip and then you hear the loud, angry guitar-work and Rock organ. It is very catchy and Yvonne's voice is very aggressive. It is darker in sound than most of the songs on The Unvisible Guide and one of my favorites. Heaven Or Hell is a song to move to, it makes you feel like you need to be in motion.
To The Top Of The Mountain fades in with a chorus of ooohs and then Yvonne lets lose a Metal scream. It is short, more of a quick exclamation but cool. Yvonne is vicious on it and the guitar-work is just fun to listen to, the kind that hits your headbanging button! I also like the deeper sound the other band mates contribute to the song.
Custer is one of the more industrial tunes. Yvonne screams her outrage full blast and the guitar-work is intense. The drummer contributes some cool bits here as well. It is a fist-pounder, don't be surprised if you find yourself singing along, even though the lyrics are a bit spotty.
Seven Seas is a power-ballad. The melody is beautiful and I love the keyboard-work. The guitar-work is less in the spot-light than usual here but is very good and delivers a heart-felt solo when it comes out to play. It is a very sad song but keeps the anthemic vibe Zed Yago is known for.
Fear In Your Eyes has a kind of Industrial/Disco meets Rock organ feeling to it. It is angry and cool but not quite as addictive as the rest of the album.
The Unvisible Guide is a haunting tune. Yvonne is at her best here, angry, eerie and cool. The guitar-work rages through your ears and you start to bob your head and next thing you know, you are headbanging and singing along. It is my second favorite from the album!
Sir Francis sounds like it may have been influenced by old sailing songs. It is as catchy as Custer, it is very difficult to get out of your mind. I find myself singing it all hours of the day and night! I didn't care for the spoken word bit towards the end though.
If I Close My Eyes Forever is a dynamic song with interesting sound effects. It too, is an action song. It is perfect for listening to when you have something energetic to do! The Rock out vibe is strong here and the guitar-work is especially good.
Fire is a hard, driven song. It is melodic and like Sir Francis sometimes sounds influenced by sailing tunes. It reminds me a little of old Savatage songs like, 24 Hours Ago (Gutter Ballet, 1989). It is about average quality for a Zed Yago song.
Daydreams, is what you would get if you metallized a 1960's ballad.  I don't enjoy this track, it is something of a struggle to listen to and is definitely the weak song on the album.
You Can't Bring Me Down is an upbeat but angry rocker. As for how good it is compared to their other work, it is average. You can expect to smile, sing along and do the devil horns once or twice.
There are also videos of the songs If I Close My Eyes Forever, The Unvisible Guide and To The Top Of The Mountain on this CD. The sound and picture quality is clear. The lip syncing is on and the atmosphere is reminiscent of a fairy tale. Appropriately, If I Close My Eyes Forever's video is a little eerie. Zed Yago are a charismatic group and seem quite enthusiastic in the video. The interplay between band members is good, particularly between Jimmy and Yvonne.
Zed Yago are thinking of fine tuning these songs a bit more before releasing them, so the final result might be a little different. However, from what I heard, The Unvisible Guide hasn't redefined the boundaries of Metal but it is fun to listen to.

"The Unvisible Guide" Track-listing:

If I Close My Eyes Forever
The Unvisible Guide
Heaven Or Hell
You Can't Bring Me Down
Seven Seas
To The Top Of The Mountain
Sir Francis
The Fear in your Eyes

Video Tracks:
1. If I Close My Eyes Forever
2. The Unvisible Guide
3. To The Top Of The Mountain

Zed Yago Lineup:

Yvonne Durand - Vocals
Claus Bubi the Schmied Reinholdt - Drums
Jimmy Durand - Guitars & Backing Vocals
Marzo Nixxx - Bass
Hansi Kecker - Organ, Keyboards & Backing Vocals

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