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Zero Hour - A Fragile Mind CD (album) cover


Zero Hour


Progressive Metal

3.68 | 50 ratings

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3 stars A Fragile Mind is the third ( I donīt count Metamorphosis (2003) because itīs a re- release of the debut album) studio album from American progressive metal act Zero Hour. Iīm a big fan of Zero Hourīs second album The Towers of Avarice (2001) and Metamorphosis is a great album too. One of the greatests features on those albums in addition to the great technical progressive metal was lead singer Erik Rosvold. Finally a distinct lead singer in a progressive metal band. Unfortunately Erik Rosvold left Zero Hour before the recording of A Fragile Mind and new lead singer Fred Marshall was drafted.

The music on A Fragile Mind is closer to the technical progressive metal of a band like Watchtower than it is to the more subtle song oriented approach of a band like Fates Warning. In fact it seems that many of the songs were written without considering a vocal melody. Sometimes that approach works just fine but in most cases which includes the case of A Fragile Mind the vocal melodies end up being less than memorable. So even when the songs are most melodic the melodies are not very strong. A Fragile Mind actually reminds me a bit of the old Sieges Even albums in that respect. I mentioned the unfortunate departure of Erik Rosvold above and it really is unfortunate because he had the ability to make memorable melodies over the technical and quite hard hitting progressive metal that the three other guys played. New lead singer Fred Marshall falls flat on his face when compared to Erik Rosvold. Itīs not that he isnīt a technially skilled singer but he isnīt distinct and I rather dislike his voice and the way he uses it. I sound very negative here and thatīs not at all my intention because even though some of the above mentioned flaws annoy me greatly A Fragile Mind is still a very professional and well crafted progressive metal album it just feels like Zero Hour has taken a step back in their development.

The musicianship is excellent. The Tipton brothers on guitar and bass respectively play their usual chromatic fast runs and drummer Mike Guy is also an excellent musician.

The production is professional and well sounding. Modern and clean metal sound.

As you can probably read out of my thought above Iīm a bit disappointed with A Fragile Mind. Zero Hour is still a distinct progressive metal band but they just donīt have the vocal melodies or the singer to put them in the premier league of progressive metal anymore. I hope this will be better on future releases. A Fragile Mind is still worth a 3 star rating though which should tell all about the general high quality of the music when itīs actually an album that Iīm disappointed about.

UMUR | 3/5 |


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