04. Memento Mori
05. Agenda 21
06. Affected person Zero
For individuals who worship on the altar of shiny, virtuoso progressive metallic, ZERO HOUR might be greater than acquainted. For the uninitiated, the Californians — led by brothers Jasun and Troy Tipton (guitar and bass respectively) — started in 1993 and spent the following 15 years increase an imperious catalogue of albums, all showcasing a extremely particular person pressure of adventurous, melodic metallic and, after all, fearsome chops. The band’s 2008 album “Darkish Deceiver” was arguably their best work thus far, however the story fizzled to a interval level when Troy Tipton sustained nerve accidents which have since made it unattainable for him to carry out materials of such a extremely demanding nature. 14 years later, after initially feeling that he couldn’t think about persevering with with out his brother, Jasun Tipton has lastly allowed himself the indulgence of a brand new ZERO HOUR document, and prog metallic connoisseurs ought to, in idea, be rejoicing.
Regardless of whether or not you’ve gotten listened to ZERO HOUR earlier than, “Agenda 21” declares itself to be a resolutely elegant affair. The musicianship on show all through is extraordinary, as you may think, however the actual revelation right here is how Jasun Tipton has resurrected his band’s trademark sound and upgraded it for the fashionable period. In distinction with the awful and brutal “Darkish Deceiver”, that is an album that feels spacious, open and filled with wide-eyed optimism. The opening “Democide” has its brutal moments, however there’s a pure magnificence to its 14-minute labyrinth of riffs; vocalist Erik Rosvold‘s melodies — each vocal and in any other case — have grown extra measured and fewer frantic over time, too. The tip result’s a fantastically paced and dynamic document, filled with mesmerizing taking part in and audacious complexity, however eminently (and maybe by accident) extra accessible than any earlier document. Specifically, “Technocracy” and “Memento Mori” are immaculate salutes to the pristine prog metallic pioneering of QUEENSRŸCHE and FATES WARNING, albeit nonetheless skewed left-ward by Jasun Tipton‘s nice creativeness. The title observe is equally gripping: a basic prog metallic melody, tethered to a shape-shifting labyrinth of riffs and disquieting detours.
In the meantime, brooding, episodic epics “Stigmata” and “Affected person Zero” nudge up the melodrama, with Rosvold a compelling and deliriously theatrical focus, and Jasun Tipton‘s endlessly ingenious soloing offering fierce, emotional rushes.
Not simply firmly within the spirit of ZERO HOUR‘s first chapter however larger, bolder and extra bold than ever earlier than, “Agenda 21” is the whole lot it deserved to be. Whether or not the band will obtain some lengthy overdue recognition is open to debate, however Jasun Tipton has introduced his alma mater again to life with intelligence and nice creativity. When you like some dazzling method along with your tumultuous, life-affirming heaviness, this must be in your ears.