Artists | Issues | CD Reviews | Interviews | Concert Reviews | DVD/Video Reviews | Book Reviews | Who We Are | Staff | Home
Non-Prog CD Reviews

Kosmic Horrör

Zarkov Protocols Vol. 1

Review by Gary Hill

This is probably a first - I'm willing to bet you've never read a review of Klingon music before. Well, that's exactly what this is. It's also diverse hard-edged space rock. Add to that list, very entertaining and quite a solid release and you get a good picture of the album. How did it come to be that a bunch of musicians would do an album of Klingon music? Well, according to their website "The original Zarkov seems to be a German scientist, a xenologist, from the 23rd. century. His mind, probably manipulated by the tlhIngan High Command, invaded the body of Kosmic Horrör´s lead singer. Yet this future Zarkov tells a tale, and that's on the record. How he went to the tlhingans (that means Klingons - ed.), became their prisoner, and one young lady's pet..." Whatever the reasoning, the truth is that this CD can be enjoyed both by Star Trek fans and those who aren't. It's just plain good music on any planet. The disc can be ordered from the band's website or is always available on ebay.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 3 at

Track by Track Review
Space keys accompanied by a narration about a space expedition starts this. A chorus comes in as washes of pretty keys create a prog/space like textures A screamed line signals a segue directly into the next cut.
Temptress of the Stars
The same musical themes begun in the previous track are given a dose of adrenaline, feeling a bit like Kraftwerk on steroids - or perhaps Kraftwerk if Trent Reznor joined the group. The chorus from the previous one remains, but the rest of the vocals, for the most part are in Klingon. The cut pounds out as a techno goth rocker that is extremely catchy. The liner notes describe the story of the song as "a sort of siren legend among tlhlngan spacemen." Essentially this song details a group of Klingons coming across a planet inhabited literally by beings who act precisely as the sirens of legend, enslaving them with sexual fervor.
Protocol 1
This space rock narrative tells of how Zarkov was captured by the Klingons.
Duj tlvoq tuH
The title of this one translates roughly to "always trust your instincts", and this is according to the CD booklet a "traditional starship-shanty" built around that saying. Musically this stomper comes in feeling like something from Alice Cooper's Brutal Planet. As it carries on the more techno approach merges with this. This one is a real heavy-duty rocker with lyrics in Klingon.
Protocol 2
This spoken section continues the story from the first protocol.
Khemorex Klinzhai
This is super heavy, but keyboard dominated. It is frantic and furious. Picture Klingon (think ferocious) house music and you come close to this one.
Protocol 3
This is a continuation of the spoken protocols.
Give Sympathize Control
Coming in extremely dark with keyboard layers and a sort of subdued spoken chant in the backdrop, more layers of keys and other voices bring in new elements. Then this bursts in hard and stomping with Klingon lyrics taking it again. The main riff here is catchy, but extremely heavy. The cut includes drops to more ambient segments from time to time. According to the liner notes, this one is a traditional song, and also one taught to slave laborers under the reign of the Klingon Empire to break their will.
Protocol 4
This is a continuation of the protocols and much like the previous ones.
D - Day
Feeling almost like a more techno Garbage, this is weird, but very catchy.
Cosmic Horror
Keys come in to start this, but it quickly stomps out in a cool, dark, almost prog jam. It drops to a more sparse arrangement for the part spoken, part sneered verse in Klingon. The chorus is in a heavier, more high-energy mode and is very catchy. As the next verse comes in, there's more energy there. This one moves out into a very killer jam later with an exceptionally tasty guitar solo. The cut is anthemic and very powerful. The booklet has this to say about "Cosmic Horror," "although there is no such concept like 'fear' to the tlhIngan mind, there are tales of doom and darkness. Here's a singer, trying to capture those emotions with some incomprehensible scat vocals."
Buran Buran
A short narration begins this and it starts a slow keyboard oriented ambient texture with a spoken recitation in Klingon. Eventually this transforms into a grinding, pounding movement that feels both modern and also like a song that might be sung by rowers in a Roman slave ship. This is incredibly potent.
Protocol 5
This is the final continuation of the protocols.
Bang Hot
This one pounds in with extremely heavy goth metal sounds making up the musical basis. This is high energy and pretty cool, but not a standout.
Born to Early
An ambient techno like backdrop comes in to start this and a Klingon narration comes overtop. This carries on in this manner with the keys and speaking getting more intense. Eventually, though, guitar enters and this turns into a metallic stomping take on the same themes to move it forward. The chorus here is really one that will have you singing along with its anthemic texture. It turns to aver Hawkwind-like keyboard dominated space segment as it carries forward. The cut begins to build back up from there and eventually makes it back to that stomping chorus.
Alia (Excerpt)
This is a pretty and rather ambient space oriented cut with processed vocals used as instrumentation. It feels a little like Klaatu's "Little Neutrino" in some ways. This is a cool track and a satisfying conclusion to the disc. It ends with the spoken words "Zarkov Protocols, Volume One, to be continued."
More CD Reviews
Metal/Prog Metal
Progressive Rock

   Creative Commons License
   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

    © 2024 Music Street Journal                                                                           Site design and programming by Studio Fyra, Inc./