Review Elements

  • HEAVINESS: 8/10
  • MELODIC: 6/10

ZW’s – If It's Real





ZW is the Duo of Drummer Mark Zonder (Fates Warning, Warlord, Chroma Key) and Gary Wehrncamp (Shadow Gallery) just to name a few.  After corresponding for more than a decade the two have joined up to make the first album.  If It’s Real

The Can’t Believe starts the album out and what I can’t believe is how much I like Gary Wehrncamp’s vocals.  So maybe I do not like those vocals as much as Baker, Ashland, or Cooper’s vocals, but his vision and passion for this project is illustrated with every lyric.  

The Second track If It’s Real sounds as though its the missing track from In Absentia as just as good as any track on the album.

Two Year’s, Mark Zonder’s favorite track is a tour-de-force.  If you don’t like that song, you don’t like progressive rock. 

Too Late has a great bridge and more drama. 

The Next Big Thing might have my favorite melody and Mark Zonder just wows me on this track.  

This is an impressive album for any size band.  For a duo its frankly unimaginable.  

If you consider this a debut album, well, you would be hard pressed to find a better one. 


ALBUM HIGHLIGHTS: Request Two Years Here

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If you have never read the key for my ratings below please do so one time. I feel my ratings are tougher than my peers. Some other reviewers may inflate their ratings in hopes to get people and bands the share the link to the review. When you have a domain like you don’t need to drive traffic to your site.
So you can count on my reviews to be fair and any bias I might have whether positive or negative will be clearly explained including a rating for my opinion of the band prior to reviewing the album. Also Check my link to see how compatible our music tasts are.

These ratings are just attributes and may not have correlation to the most important: OVERALL RATING

0: Never heard of them or debut album.
2: Someone recommended. I give them another shot.
4: Some good moments in the past but never put together an album I really liked.
6: Some 4 or 5 star songs but albums can be hit or miss for me.
8: I like 80% of their songs and probably went to see them live.
10: I would, and probably have gone on a plane to see them live.

2: Weather Report
4: Zappa
6: Genesis – Selling England by the Pound,
8: Marillion – F.E.A.R
10: Kino – Picture

2: IQ – Seventh House
4: Discipline – Unfold Like a Staircase
6: Porcupine Tree – In Abstentia, Shadow Gallery – Tyranny
8: Vanden Plas – Chirst 0, Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
10: Opeth – Black Water Park

2: Opeth – Black Water Park
4: Vanden Plas – Chirst 0, Dream Theater – Scenes From a Memory
6: Porcupine Tree – In Abstentia, Shadow Gallery – Tyranny
8: Discipline – Unfold Like a Staircase
10: IQ – Seventh House

2: Will Never listen to again and deleted under no circumstances should you buy this
4: Not my thing maybe one redeeming song.
6: I like parts of this and I would check them out if they were near me.
8: I would get in the car and road trip to see this album live
10: I would get on a plane to see this performed live

0: Did not send
2: Sleeve or jewel-case with only single card front.
4: Some interesting information in packaging.
6: Nice art and some information
8: Nice art and full lyrics
10: Full lyrics, composer credits, are for each specific song

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