Zed Yago - ...From The Twilight Zone (Best of)
Fantasy Metal
Disc 1: 10 songs (49:39) Disc 2: 11 songs (48:22)
Release year: 2002
Reviewed by Jeff

Has anyone ever heard of the band Zed Yago? If not, then "...From The Twilight Zone" is a great place to start!

Zed Yago was a German fantasy metal band that was formed back in 1985. The band consisted of a female singer named Jutta, guitarist Jimmy, who was the main songwriter and musical director, guitarist Gunnar, bass man Tatch and drummer Bubi. Their music can be best described as Dio meets Scorpions.

In 1987 they released their first album called "From Over Yonder". It became record of the month in the German “Metal Hammer” magazine. The album sold over 30,000 copies and generated interest from major labels.

In 1988 Zed Yago signed a major deal with BMG Records. They recorded their second album, "Pilgrimage". It was a conceptual album which featured lyrics about the Flying Dutchman's daughter, Zed Yago. She was forever doomed to sail the seas of her pirate kingdom (a shadowy realm of nothingness). She was obsessed with the desire to become human and invited God and the Devil into her world. They meet on her boat, but she soon realized that good and evil could not coexist in her dimension. Only Zed Yago could save them, so she strikes a bargain with these powerful forces. In exchange for the human form she had always wanted, her boat becomes a ferry that connects Heaven and Hell. Zed Yago, now a black eyed, raven haired beauty, is free to sail out in search of love and beauty. "Pilgrimage" went up to number 2 on the Japanese Metal Charts.

Unfortunately problems inside the band escalated and in 1990 the members called it quits.

"...From The Twilight Zone" is a double disc retrospective collection that concentrates on songs previously released from the following albums: 1987's "From Over Yonder", 1988's "Pilgrimage", and 1990's "Velvet Viper". There are also six previously unreleased tracks (two demos and four live tracks) and a video track.

Personally, I'm a little disappointed with some of the live the bonus tracks. The song "Zed Yago" is a live version of the original. It is taken from a bootleg recording. The quality and overall performance is quite good considering, but I feel the original version would have been better suited for this release. My feelings on the previously stated also hold true for "Rocking For The Nation".

Another live track is "Stay The Course - Part II". It was largely included because of the drum solo. Only the second half of this song was recorded because the sound engineer had to switch over the tape right in the middle of "Rebel Ladies", which also only includes part of that song. I really thought that Zed Yago would have had some other live recordings from their career; songs they could have included in this package that might have been better than the ones they used on this release. I mean, to have two songs where only half of each is recorded? They must have really thought these songs were special so that is why we have them here. Just a bit of a let down where that is concerned.

One of the demo recordings is of the Spooky Tooth cover,"Waiting For The Wind". This song has a very Deep Purple vibe to it with the Hammond Organs. The quality on this is pretty good! The other demo recording is an original track called "Cover Man", which was recorded in 1985 and lyrically was a straight forward power rocker. The quality on this is also good.

The video of "Black Bone Song" is cool! It has a pirate theme including heads buried on the sand, skulls, and a sailing boat of buccaneers! to it!

Overall the material on this album is excellent! The songs from "From Over Yonder" and "Pilgrimage" alone make this worthwhile purchase, considering these albums are very hard to come by!

Just as a side note, Zed Yago recently reformed with original members: guitarist Jimmy and drummer Bubi. They also recruited a new female vocalist Yvonne, bassist Uwe Seemann and keyboardist Hansi Kecker. They have written plenty of new material and are starting to record a new album and play some shows as well. I haven't heard what the band sounds like with the new lineup but I'm excited to hear it as this is supposed to be their tightest and best combination yet!

Dead Yago? NO! Zed Yago!

Killing Songs :
CD1 (Merlin, Black Bone Song, King Arthur, United Pirate Kingdom, Fear of Death, The Pale Man, Pioneer of the Storm) / CD 2 (Pilgrimage, Queen and Priest, Rebel Ladies, Rose of Matyrdom, Ring of Stone, HM Rebels, The Spell from over Yonder)
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