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Zadra: Guiding Star
Zadra - Guiding Star Album Art

Zadra: Guiding Star

Melodic Hard Rock/AOR
5.0/5.0

August Zadra may not quite be a household name in the rock biz, but you may know him. The vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter has been a prominent member of Styx alumnus Dennis DeYoung's band for many years. He also is part of Wait For Monday, and LA-based band formed with vocalist Rudy Cardenas, and discovered by Jeff Scott Soto. In 2020, they dropped their self-titled debut album. Now Zarda returns with his eponymous project Zarda and debut album, Guiding Star. The recording includes contributions from Dennis DeYoung and Jeff Scott Soto as well as Frontier's Alessandro Del Vecchio who produced. Yeah, you're right. The band logo and album look like an Asia album.

August Zadra - Click For Larger Image

August Zadra: smiling like a car salesman.

After a spin or two of Guiding Star, we can make one sweeping generalization about the music, this is AOR melodic hard rock. But more specifically, August Zadra offers three elements I consider most important (to me, at the least) to the genre: clean melodic vocals wrapped in solid vocal arrangements, song melody, and fine guitar solos. Yet, another overarching conclusion, or description, for Zadra's songwriting and choices is balance. The elements that make this AOR melodic hard rock are well-balanced as well as the character of songs across the album. By example, Ship Of Fools rises as a heavier riff rocker with a deep rhythm section as does Escape The Rain with its feisty guitar start. Won't Let Your Love Take Me Down, perhaps, even exceeds those two song by injecting some metal edge and more assertive vocals from Zadra. Then there's the smooth AOR arena sound of Nothing More To Say or Dream Of You with lovely harmonic vocals and neatly appointed synths. Similar is A Matter Of Yesterday which is propelled at the start with a clean piano melody, which lingers, but the song rises in crescendo fashion as a large anthem. Along the way, August Zadra as a vocalist really belts it out, yet with melody and harmony in his voice wrapped in significant control. There's nothing harsh or bristling about his vocal style. All said then, August Zadra's Guiding Star is a fine debut album from the artist packed with well-crafted and well-balanced AOR melodic hard rock. Easily recommended. Get it!




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The Take Away

All said, August Zadra's Guiding Star is a fine debut album from the artist packed with well-crafted and well-balanced AOR melodic hard rock. Easily recommended. Get it!

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