ZEROZONIC – Zerozonic
Zerozonic is a band created by Daniel "Død" Olaisen of Blood Red Throne’s fame because Daniel had ideas that did not fit a death metal convention of his first love. Zerozonic could be described best as punkish thrash/groove but with a fairly original sound. Take the old and latter Soilwork, a pinch of old God Forbid and mix it with "The New Order" Testament and The Absence but insist on a touch of Slipnot-like nu metal (the good kind) that sends one hit wonders like Drowning Pool scrambling for their guitars.
You would not know this from his original band but Daniel has also good set of pipes akin to Aaron Lewis (Staind) and Robb Flynn (Machine Head) he utilizes on the ballady "I Walk Away" with thoughtful lyrics about struggles to remain human in the increasingly inhuman world. It’s fair to mention Pissing Razors, a forgotten thrash groove band from the 90s who started by riding Pantera’s coattails but ended up releasing two killer albums "Cast Down The Plague" and "Fields of Disbelief" both of which influence I hear in Zerozonic. Since thrash/groove can be an acquired taste for a death metal fan I also mentioned the melodeathers The Absence particularly in relation to the two instrumentals "ZZ Toms" and the mindblowing "Intrumentalis" recalling God Forbid’s "Determination" and Megadeth’s "Hangar 18" (Rust in Peace). Zerozonic reminds me also of Hypocrisy, Annihilator, especially "Phoenix Rising" ballad from "Set The World Afire" album, most notably on "Pushed Away" as well as 40Grit, a band I’m sure no one remembers anymore yet whose debut "Heads" I very much enjoy to date, Prong and finally Suicidal Tendencies as I hear plenty of Mike Muir manieurisms in the vocals. The sheer number of bands and reference points should clue you in as to how original Zerozonic sounds. Daniel has a knack for writing simple but killer riffs and catchy melodies (I Walk Away, It Never Dies) in the similar fashion to Machine Head (Just Turn Away), about giving it all to someone in vain and resolving to "never put myself in this position again" which certainly rings a personal bell, while his songwriting skills fit the style he chose the band to go in the direction of, the closer a particularly impressive amalgamate of Annihilator and Death’s "Voice of the Soul" (The Sound of Perseverance) for easily my favorite track on this disc.
To me the self titled is a welcome surprise and a pleasure to listen to. I am not familiar with Zerozonic’s previous work as this is already their fourth album but this one is a keeper.