Having highly enjoyed their debut album Exist, I have been eagerly anticipating Zebedy’s new album, Marionette, ever since it was first announced. Coming from the Conwy area, Zebedy are definitely one of the better bands from North Wales, and new album Marionette certainly backs this up.
Marionette opens with instrumental track To Whom It May Concern, which is a really great opener. Starting off quiet and relaxed, the track quickly gains momentum as the drums kick in, and continues in this fashion before slowing down and running seamlessly into the first “full” track, Running Thin. This is a track that I can already picture going down a storm live, and is definitely one of the stronger tracks on the album.
The following track Histories starts off in a similar manner to Running Thin, so I was a little worried that the album wasn’t going to be full of originality, but as the song progressed it differs more and more, and I realised just how wrong I was! The harsh vocals were especially well-executed and the drop from heavy to soft in a few seconds worked really well. The track ends with the instruments cutting out to leave just the vocals, which is a great way to end it. After this is The Greatest Cause, which is one of the heavier tracks and it really packs a punch, with harsher vocals and an impressive wall of guitars, as well as featuring an absolutely massive sing-along chorus.
One of the things I like about this album is that it features instrumental tracks to divide it up, and track World Outside is the second of these tracks. Continuing on the same theme as To Whom It May Concern, this track is softer and lighter, which works well as it leads into Glass Cage, which is the longest track of the album at just over ten minutes. Although it builds on previous ideas on the album and it is a technically brilliant track, I did find that it dragged slightly due to the sheer length of it.
The album picks up again with track You Can’t Fake It, which is another especially strong song. It starts with a fairly simple introduction before getting a lot more complex and abstract. This track is more instrumental one, only featuring vocals at the start of the song, before fleshing out into a four-minute epic. The momentum continues building with Grey To Gold, a high energy track with an interesting spoken/shouted part in the middle. It comes across as a track filled with emotion due to the sheer passion in the vocals from start to finish.
Title track Marionette is another massive track, and is a great track to showcase the entire album – with it featuring both softer and heavier parts with some beautiful vocals. I especially liked the drum line in this one and I liked how the song had taken lyrical themes from earlier tracks on the album.
Stitches was an unexpected track to me. As it started, I fully anticipated it being quite a soft and heartfelt song after hearing the introduction, but when the full band joined in, it added so much to the already beautiful song and as it ended, I knew I’d found my personal favourite of the album. The lyrics alone are stunning, but when coupled with amazing musicianship and breathtaking vocals, the song is something else.
The final track, Postscript, rounds off the album very nicely, bringing it to a very satisfying finish by ending with the same little musical idea that the album began on, bringing it full circle.
A truly brilliant album. If this doesn’t catapult them to success, then there is no justice in this world.