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Zero Hour - The Towers Of Avarice CD (album) cover

THE TOWERS OF AVARICE

Zero Hour

 

Progressive Metal

4.29 | 110 ratings

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AtLossForWords
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Zero Hour's album Towers of Avarice is not just an oustanding musical effort. It's a sci- fi epic, almost the musical equivalent to "The Matrix" films. Towers of Avarice's concept takes place in the future where structures and machines known as "the towers" aspire to keep growing, becoming taller and more powerful. At this point in time, human beings have become the prime source of energy and live deep undergroudn where one man believes he has the ability to set the human race free once again. (sound familiar?) This man's efforts are eventually questioned, and from my interpretation of the story ends in tragic failue.

The concept is not the most innovative story writing ever, being that it is so bored from the Wachowski brothers, but what's so amazing is how well a sci-fi epic like this can be reflected in music, progressive metal music that is! There are so few bands which have the ability to pull off writing music for such a scientific concept, but Zero Hour's style blends perfectly with the concept's subject matter.

Jasun Tipton delivers a splendid performance. He is first and foremost the composer of most of the matierial on the album. He is also one of the most talented guitarists in progressive metal. Tipton delivers a sonic array of tones that can change the mood of a song instantly. Tipton can write music that is both depressingly soft and aggressively heavy, but never ceases to lose the musical value of a song. He along with his brother Troy take care of the atmospheric keyboards and professionally done piano pieces such as "Reflections". Tipton's guitar technique shines throughout ever song on this album. He's sweeping skills are mind blowing. Fans of technical albums will drool over Tipton's guitar playing.

Troy Tipton is no slouch either. He helped composed many of the album's songs, but like his brother posesses extraordinary technique. Tipton's bass lines are both melodic in songs like "Stratagem" and incredibly rythymnically complex in the intro of the album's fifteen minute epic "Demise and Vestige". Tipton uses the entire range of his instrument which create some amazing chordal inversions to provide an interesting tonal listen.

Erik Rosvold sadly delivers his final performance with Zero Hour on this album. Rosvold's voice is perfect for this band, so it is a shame to see him depart. Rosvold uses a variety of effects to enhance the drama of the albums concept, but also can do quite amazing things with his voice in the shorter softer songs like "Reflections" and "The Ghosts of Dawn". Rosvold has one of the finest voices in the genre which is a pleasure to listen to first syllable to last.

Mike Guy perfectly fits the chemistry of the band. Unlike the Tipton brothers, he is much more subdued on his instrument. Guy adds some great powerful drum beats, but also manages to provide some very interesting comps in unison. Guy is a rock solid drummer that uses every piece of his set, but he does so in moderation. A listener will not tire of listening to his cymbals or toms, because he mixes them up so well, a listener almost has to listen directly to the drums to catch all of the tool Guy uses.

The production is excellent. All the instruments are balanced volume wise. It couldn't be better. The distorted guitar tones are aggressive, but very clean, especially in the high range. The clean guitars sustain and ring out above the band with the most human touch. The bass is powerful, but incredibly clean. There isn't extra fret noise or studio feedback. The drums are clear and articulated and sit perfectly in the mix. The vocals are butter. There are thick walls of vocal harmonies where a listener can pick out each individual harmony. The production is just that clean.

Perfect album! The only drawback is the short running time of fourty-five minutes.

AtLossForWords | 5/5 |

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