ZERO HOUR – Agenda 21

ZERO HOUR – Agenda 21


Progressive metallers Zero Hour are back following a long hiatus and knowing that these guys are capable musicians, I was curious as to how this brand-new effort of theirs would sound.

After countless spins and listening sessions, I must admit that I find “Agenda 21” somewhat uneven and a bit of a mixed bag. The compositions are colorful and musically varied without being overly complex or convoluted, which is good, and it is rather epic in scope both musically and sonically. However, too many parts come across as meandering and without aim or purpose, which basically means that they fail to drive the songs forward. This loss of momentum occurs a little too often and entails that the record slides back and forth between the mediocre and the captivating. While some passages fall flat, others are both arresting and effective, and there are quite a few moments that are genuinely touching. There is drama and dynamics to the LP but in the overall perspective it does not entirely succeed in enthralling the listener and creating a convincingly majestic and emotive aura that sucks you in and keeps you engaged from beginning to end.

Fans of the band’s earlier outputs and to some extent Dream Theater should give it a try though. The album highlights are undoubtedly “Democide” and the title track thanks to their melancholy pull, crushing riffs, and intense drive.

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