Czakan - Unreal

Czakan – Unreal


German band Czakan return in 2023 with their new album called ‘Unreal’ released by Pride And Joy Records during March 2023.

Written by: gdmonline

ARTIST: Czakan
ALBUM: Unreal
LABEL: Pride And Joy Records
YEAR: 2023

LINEUP: Michael Schennach – vocals * Oliver Guttinger – guitars * Tommy Fein – keyboards * Frank Schrafft – bass * Randy Arcachon – drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Free Line * 02 Getting Hungry * 03 Breaking All The Rules * 04 Livin In A Nightmare * 05 Get Down * 06 Burns Like A Fire * 07 Under The Gun * 08 City Nights * 09 Masquerade * 10 She Is A Woman * 11 Winners Dont Cry * 12 My Sweet Love * 13 Locked In A Cage * 14 Show Me All Your Love

RATING: 85/100

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Three decades ago we saw the debut release from German melodic rockers Czakan, their first LP ‘State Of Confusion’ issued by Intercord IRS back in 1989. A few years later when they disbanded due to the grunge virus, we all thought that was it. But Czakan return in 2023 with their new album called ‘Unreal’ released by Pride And Joy Records during March 2023.

I had to roll back the clock, investigate the 1989 album once more, watch some videos and re-read our review from a few years ago and then go on a mission of rediscovery. What I can say about the Czakan band lineup is that it’s exactly the same as it was all those years ago. Understandably, there’s no hair metal element remaining after a thirty year absence, hence the musical style changing to more of a classic rock vibe.

The Songs

You hear this transition immediately on the first track ‘Free Line’, where the keyboard of Tommy Fein invokes a Uriah Heep like reminder. The guitars chug away unashamedly, as if the 80’s was only yesterday. The new found classic rock tones abound on ‘Getting Hungry’. Yeah it’s a long way from their origins but I’m OK with that.

‘Breaking All The Rules’ changes direction ever so slightly. The guitar work veers to a harder jangly style, though the solo sees the distortion pedal on overdrive. ‘Livin’ In A Nightmare’ is quite spatial, particularly on the verses, but the space is filled by solid riffs at chorus time. Vocally, this track is quite appealing too. One of the highlights so far. ‘Get Down’ does exactly that, a musical romp similar to Swiss merchants Gotthard and The Order

‘Burns Like A Fire’ came across like a track that could easily fit into the Grand Design songbook, but without the glam metal sound and deliberately misspelled song titles. How many songs have been titled ‘Under The Gun’ over the decades? Here’s another one, but I kinda like this racy version. ‘City Nights’ slows the speed but increases the intensity. It’s a sort of power ballad but only just.

A stomping drum beat introduces ‘Masquerade’, it’s filled out by organ parts and a load of harmony vocals, an OK track by me. ‘She Is A Woman’ on the other hand didn’t hit the target whatsoever. Much better is ‘Winners Dont Cry’ which sounds like a track penned for helium infused Swedish vocalist Tony Niva such are the high pitched vocals.

‘My Sweet Love’ is a good time rocker which chugs along at pace, ‘Locked In A Cage’ instead sounds a lot more serious. The album ends on a high with the rather melodious ‘Show Me All Your Love’, this is pitched at heavy AOR, with Schennach’s voice sounding like a million bucks.

In Summary

‘Unreal’ is a good solid effort and worth a listen. Musically, the vocals are top notch, the guitars are full frontal while the keyboard work is subtle, understated but still provides a presence. As mentioned, Czakan. aren’t as racy nor as energetic as they were in their 80’s heyday, but judging by what’s on offer here, they could easily outpace many modern bands with ease. Give them a shot!


Free Line

Czakan - Free Line (Official Video)

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