Zero A.D. – Consistency | Review by Alien E Zine

by Ján Peter Háber  | Jan. 02, 2022 |

Italy is one of the countries that has a rich synthesizer tradition. In the 80’s of the last century, the style with the distinctive designation Italo Disco (Baltimore, Gazebo, Sabrina, Ken Laszlo, Koto, Mozzart, …) was in the charts and discos, at the turn of the millennium the Eiffel 65 was in course. Italy also has a strong rave scene. Not to mention Dope Stars Inc. or Kirlian Camera. Duo Zero A.D. draws a little from each corner. At the same time, it is stylistically very clearly anchored in futurepope. Andrea Tomasich and Diego Bardari released their first mini-album, The Beginning, in year 2007. These were the times when the founders of futurepop slowly began to dig through the style they defined around the year 2000. I don’t write it by chance, the sound of the new album Zero A.D. clearly refers to VNV Nation, Covenant, Rotersand, or the futurpop phase of Apoptygma Berzerk. In 2009, they released an EP called Will. A year later, the first album All My Beliefs was released. Although the discogs rank their work under the EBM at the time, their futurpop sound cannot be overheard. Then the band took a long 11-year break. On their latest album, Consistency, they continue where they left off a decade ago. Despite the fact that the album was released at the end of 2021, I have a strong retro feel of it. I even feel sorry about it. If it would be released at the time of their first album All My Beliefs, it could be a classic in the genre today. But as they say, what is not it can be. Dreamy melancholy oppresses the listener’s ears. Simple but at the same time very catchy synthesizer motifs have incredible power. Tones will settle in your head and you will not be able to get rid of them. The winding effect of some sort. Exactly those tranceoid sounds. And I’m not talking about bass lines. They support the main aspect of the songs, danceability. The drums may be soft for this style, but it occurs to me that this is a geographical aspect. They don’t interfere with the danceability and the overall impact of the songs. And then the atmospheric underpants, which give the songs exactly the right and already mentioned melancholic atmosphere per millimeter.

The inspirations of the giants of the genre are obvious, but if you listen more deeply, the attentive listener will find out that this is not a rip off, but a meticulous effort to maintain the purity of the style. And that’s the magic. Synthesizers only, nothing else. If you remember all those hits that you’ve been dancing to around for twenty years and you don’t see any new hits, because many futurpop bands have gone in a different direction over time, you have an alternative. An album that will take you back in time and remind you of a lot of nice things. It is not often that a new release seems so nostalgic. Literally family friendly. Like something you know intimately, even though it’s new. Most of the songs are primarily intended for the club scene. The atmospheric Magma-The night it began. As an intermezzo, after the first third, the recording is pleasantly adorned, just like the short Towards the line (which is an intro to the next Line), or the epic penultimate Voice of the Dream. The whole new release is intertwined with dreams. And when we are at the instrumentals, we can’t miss A new end with its baroque touch. The first song Only a dream foreshadows the sound of the whole record. Interesting on this piece is the outro, which sounds like a separate part. The seventh song To catch you (Only a dream part 2) and the penultimate song Can you hear me (Only a dream part 3) follow it. At the end, there will also be an instrumental, who, after a pompous introduction, will run decently to end the entire album with the same dignity. Also pleasantly disturbing rhythms that invites you to move yourself have Be my eyes (album version), Without the happy ending (0 AD version), No choice, Your war (where Italian is heard in addition to the ubiquitous English) and Stronger than anything (rework) (original version is on the first album All My Beliefs, the rework version fits with its sound into the current release). Consistence is divided into several parts and could easily be described as a concept album. This concept is a dream. A dream of a sentimental past that seeks to re-materialize with all pomp.

Finally, I will try to summarize. An excellent futurepop album on which very sensitively alternates dancefloor hits with atmospheric instrumentals. The throbbing unrest carries with it something magical and addictive. The purity of the genre ensures the consistency of the entire work of the same name. The right choice for all nostalgics and futurepop lovers, maybe even a necessity. For all the others still a very pleasant thing, which stirs the blood in your veins and at the same time immerses you in a beautiful dream.

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