ZIGGURAT – Melodic Scandal [The Complete Ziggurat] Retrospect Records Digitally Remastered
This is a really cool request, the now out of print (more than $900 for a used copy, go figure) remastered 2-in-1 CD of melodic pompsters ZIGGURAT, titled “Melodic Scandal [The Complete Ziggurat]” including their two LP’s, ”Ziggurat” and ”Melodic Scandal”.
This quintet, whose name was derived from a type of ancient Eastern structure, hailed from Atlanta and formed in the mid 70’s. Their self-titled debut has a definitive keyboard driven Pomp AOR sound yet adding some melodic bluesy touches, while ”Melodic Scandal” turns much more melodic indeed, with that polished commercial AOR style typical of the year of its release (1982).
ZIGGURAT issued their self-titled debut on Robox Records, a local private label, in 1979. The album fared well in the region but with minimal pressings issued, soon become a collector’s piece.
Such was the case when their sophomore album, “Melodic Sandal”, released in 1982. The emphasis on AOR was even greater at this point, with a crisp production, catchy choruses and keyboard / synth runs. However their manager was not able to get a national record deal, and the band split in 1983, with members defecting to also very good AOR bands like Bombay and Fortnox.
Their music is based heavily around Bob Geresti’s keyboards and some pomp rock themes. Geresti was a classically trained pianist and studied in piano performance at West Virginia University, so he bought a lot to the table. Musically, Ziggurat compare favorably with bands such as Zon, Cinema Face, Arc Angel, Harlequin, some Angel, and of course Fortnox.
Both albums are quite diverse, and dips its fingers and toes into many sub-genres of melodic rock.
We think the song ‘For Your Love’ is which best exemplifies Ziggurat’s overall style: punchy guitars, keyboard layers, piano like intrusions and hyped up clean vocals. Another Pomp gem is the keyboard driven ‘Nightmare’.
In keeping with the song-title, ‘They Only Come Out At Night’ has a darker theme about it (understandably), but it features some thick guitar lines from Nathan Barfield.
‘Hold On To Me’ is the most commercial track here, elegant AOR with an amazing 1982-like synth solo.
We find a classic ballad in ‘Melathys’ – we have two versions here, one on each album, and it’s nice two hear and experiment how ZIGGURAT’s sound evolved between the two recordings.
Being on a small label didn’t help Ziggurat’s cause on a national scale, but it would certainly interest cult followers of Pomp and AOR years later.
Great stuff, rare CD
“Melodic Scandal” (1982)
01 – For Your Love
02 – Nightmare
03 – Just A Picture
04 – I’ll Keep You Free
05 – They Only Come Out At Night
06 – Hold On To Me
07 – Melathys (1982)
08 – Love Right Now
09 – 8 Miles High / So You Wanna Be A Rock N’ Roll
10 – Rounder
11 – Alone Tonight
12 – Winter Snow
13 – Soft Passages
14 – Will There Come A Time
15 – And The Gypsy Said
16 – Sally Paradise
17 – Let Me Come Home
18 – Run With The Wind
19 – Melathys (1979)
Dave Sansom – lead vocals
Nathan Barfield – guitars, percussion vocals
Bob Geresti – keyboards, clavinet, synths, mini Moog
Don McWhorter – bass
Russell Daniel – drums, percussion, vocals