Released date: February 10th, 2017
Genre: Thrash/Groove Metal
Zerozonic is a thrash/groove metal band from Norway which features guitarist Daniel Olaisen of the Norwegian death metal group Blood Red Throne. Ever since 2004, Zerozonic had been spreading their brand of modern supercharged groovy thrash metal. By the year 2007, the band had released their debut studio album and followed it up with two more full-length studio recordings by 2010 and 2012. Their s/t 2017 album is the fourth studio offering that the band had put out. Though this record did not impress me that much, it had somehow convinced me not to set it aside in trash pile albums.
This self-titled offering has an evident ragbag influences from bands like Pantera, late 80s Testament, Soilwork, Machine Head, Nevermore, and a few NU metal and modern metal elements thrown into the mix. The tracks in here have never reached above the level of decent and are mostly just plain average that a couple of spins will give it a few months stay on your collection rack. The whole material is basically stacked with colossal Pantera-esque groovy guitar riffs that are toned as to the style of Machine Head, with simple modern metal rhythm swings that’s enough to make your foot tap for a couple of minutes.
The riffs in here may not be as furious as bands from the thrash metal genre would come up, but it’s decent enough to the ears that it sounds enjoyable and head-nodding at some point. It’s toned down disposition on the guitars part are fair enough to supply the listeners some respectable grooves which do not go overemphasized. The instrumental song ‘Intrumentalis‘ is a good example of how the grooves and crunchy guitar tone, drum work, and bass goes together well without going overboard. Tunes like ‘It Never Dies‘, ‘Get Me Back‘, ‘ I Walk Away‘, and ‘Just Turn Away‘ are also good exemplifications of Zerozonic‘s knack for creating simple and traditional groovy thrash metal riffs but are conventional enough to entertain its audiences. However, it is also its simplicity and effortlessness that makes this release stale after a few listen.
Bass lines in the record are visibly present, as it resonates and pounds through the whole release with its singular low-frequency sound that is mostly distinct during the slower and more melancholic songs. I have no complaints on the bass section, as the sort of sound that it conjures is perfect for the type of no-frills riff delivery that the band is employing. Drumming section of this album is heavy, but it is powerless and stagnant. The lack of aggressiveness and intense nature in the drum section is not new to bands that are influenced by modern metal acts, but I’d be lying if I say that it is terrible because I like how it gives the tracks in the material a hardcore meets groove metal feel.
The vocal department of the record is the customary clean dispatch with that Phil Anselmo-esque harsh throaty and rough screams that we can find on Nu metal and modern groove metal offerings. And yes, sometimes the vocal sounds like those of a crappy metalcore band because of the typical metalcore yells that the band’s frontman occasionally evokes. As for the production, it is clean and we can’t find any drawbacks or any sort of faults as it is just the par for the course mixing that we hear on routine thrash/groove metal releases.
To end this review, Zerozonic‘s self-titled offering is an album that may find its way to your regular rotation for a few months. But after that, it will end up forgotten and left hanging around in the closet for years to come. This record isn’t really interesting or memorable, but this isn’t that pile of steaming feces which swarms the modern metal industry these days. I still feel that the band aren’t playing to their full potential here, and I believe that they can still improve their music in the future.