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Zero Hour - Specs Of Pictures Burnt Beyond CD (album) cover


Zero Hour


Progressive Metal

3.78 | 57 ratings

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4 stars Specs of Pictures Burnt Beyond is the fourth full-length studio album by American progressive metal act Zero Hour. The album was released in 2006 through Sensory Records. For the second album in a row the band has changed lead vocalist as Fred Marshall who sang on A Fragile Mind (2005) has been replaced with ex-Power of Omens vocalist Chris Salinas. As I was not very happy about Fred Marshallīs voice and vocal style on A Fragile Mind I was really excited about the prospect of a new lead singer in Zero Hour. As it turns out my expectations that a new vocalist would bring back some of the magic from the Erik Rosvold ( the first lead vocalist in Zero Hour) days, are fully met.

The music is technical progressive metal. Zero Hour is one of the few bands in the genre who has a very unique and easily recognizable style IMO. Lots of fast chromatic runs in unusual time signatures but with memorable and melodic vocal lines to bring some dynamic and accessibility into an otherwise very dark, heavy and challenging soundscape. New lead vocalist Chris Salinas is a great asset to the bandīs sound IMO. His voice is very similar to the voice of Ray Alder ( Fates Warning, Engine, Redemption) which might be a problem for some but isnīt for me. The man canīt help being born with a voice that happens to be very similar to the voice of someone else ( I wish I was born with a voice like that) and his performance on this album is impeccable. A very skilled vocalist.

There are seven tracks on the album. All excellent technical progressive metal songs ( well thereīs one ballad too). Songs like Face the Fear ( OK I have to admit that when Chris Salinas starts singing in this song it does sound just a bit too much like Fates Warning), The Falconīs Cry and Evidence of the Unseen are prime examples of why Zero Hour is one of the most succesful bands in the genre.

The musicianship is excellent. Lots of challenging playing and a unique approach to writing music.

The production is excellent too. very professional and well sounding.

Specs of Pictures Burnt Beyond is a great return to form for Zero Hour and while the album doesnīt quite reach the heights of my favorite by the band The Towers of Avarice (2001), I still find it to be an excellent technical progressive metal album fully deserving a 4 star rating.

UMUR | 4/5 |


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