I've heard a good chunk of Basho's music--not all, but everything in print and a bit more. This is easily the best. Not just the top of the heap, but far out ahead; really completely unlike everything else he ever did. There are pieces here that will remind you of the other Basho (the one on Bashovia who is far more restrained and NORMAL), but this seems to be where everything came together, the pinacle of whatever it was Basho was trying to accomplish. Half of it doesn't even use guitar! Robbie just gets to this point where the music is moving way beyond technique or genre, and the whole world just pours out of him. It's terribly honest music, enough to make you blush. No one will ever make music like this again. I wouldn't be brave enough to do it. Some will laugh at this album but they're missing it.
Although demonstrating some of the best guitar work we were ever lucky enough to get from Basho, the strength of Zarthus lies in its interlocking ballads, most of which are done on piano, and yes, he sings. His voice is deep and sorrowful, and the whole thing is played out like the drama of the century; it is almost too much. You'll either dismiss it or weep your way through it, it's that kind of album. Basho gives the performance of his life in all the ways you probably aren't supposed to do, and I think most artists are incapable of doing anyway.
It's a short album, and you might think the import price is a bit high, but if you like anything else by Basho this is definitely a prize worth persuing.