“Zero Hour” is a progressive metal band from California, made up of excellent musicians and twin brothers Troy and Jasun Tipton on bass and guitars, awesome vocalist and lyricist Erik Rosvold and amazing drummer Mike Guy. A band whose talent and strength are of the highest and greatest quality. One among the best in my opinion!
Though “The Towers of Avarice” has only 6 tracks – with very few keys by the way – the length is good enough, still not enough in my own taste. But those 45 minutes, I can promise you, will leave you no breath at all. There is so much energy in the 6 songs and everything goes so fast that you have no time to realize what is going on. It’s already over. There’s so much rhythm, the songs are filled with awesome, non-stopping and complicated riffs that you don’t have time to catch your breathe. It’s heavy. Fast. And at the same time so enjoyable. Dark. Heavy. Emotional. Sometimes a bit more quiet and melodious. But above all DIVERSE. “The Towers of Avarice” has so much to offer – especially on the technical level. ANY progressive metal lover will be astonished by that superb piece of work. By its awesome complexity and deepness – especially for what concerns guitars and bass. A conceptual album about humanity very well thought and perfectly organized, structured, mysterious, cold sometimes, original, dark again.
Even though they are said to sound a bit like other well-known bands (like Pain of Salvation, Dream Theater, Symphony X, Queensryche and some others) – which might be true once in a while, but really not in a general way – they are pretty unique in their kind and the only way for you to see it is to listen by yourself. “Zero Hour” is ultra special and I’m not surprised to see why they became so famous all around the world as soon as that second album was released! I think they got an immediate success. Quite impressive for only a second album. Rosvold’s vocals are simply pure, clear, full of emotion, in other cases much heavier and oh, so great! Perfect for the type of music and you couldn’t ask for more. He renders the emotions perfectly in every track in my opinion.
My favourite songs (for music and vocals) are “Reflections” (which is very sweet and beautiful), “The Ghosts of Dawn” (which is a bit dramatic and also melodic and sweet till about the half of the song – impressive and powerful vocals there!) and “Stratagem” (which sounds a little bit like Dream Theater at the beginning). Though every single song is great and meaningful in itself. I really don’t know how I could talk about this fantastic album because I can’t find the words. The music is what will really convince you I guess, so my only advice is to purchase it and you will have something very special in your collection. Musically, it’s a jewel.
“The Towers of Avarice” deserves a big 10/10 – no matter if it’s about the technical degree, the quality of the album itself, the sound, the vocals, the playing and the arrangements of every instrument. Just for the music, it deserves more than a 100%. To me, the talent of these guys is irrefutable, unquestionable. If PERFECTION is said to be in existent, well FOR ME, this album is STILL a result of it. YOU HAVE TO GET IT!!! Now, it’s time to wait for the release of their next album “Specs of Pictures Burnt Beyond” on October 10th 2006 – with Chris Salinas as the new vocalist!!! Can’t wait for that!!
Reviewed by Vikie Martel on September 28th, 2006