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Zero Hour

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Zero Hour Zero Hour [Aka: Metamorphosis] album cover
3.11 | 38 ratings | 7 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Eyes of Denial (4:42)
2. The System Remains (7:22)
3. Voice of Reason (8:40)
4. Metamorphosis (17:06) :
- i) Descent (3:45)
- ii) Awaken (4:33)
- iii) Union (5:44)
- iv) Solace (1:03)
- v) Ascent (2:01)

Total Time 37:50

Bonus tracks on 2003 reissue:
5. Rebirth (5:49)
6. A Passage (2:25)
7. Eyes of Denial (demo) (3:57)
8. Jaded Eyes (demo) (3:29)

Line-up / Musicians

- Erik Rosvold / vocals
- Jasun Tipton / guitars
- Troy Tipton / bass
- Mike Guy / drums & percussion

- Matt Guillory / keyboards
- Phillip Bennett / keyboards (3)
- Brittany Tipton / little girl's voice (3)

Releases information

Artwork: Shawn Lux

CD Self-released (1999, US)
CD Sensory ‎- SR3020 (2003, US) Re-titled "Metamorphosis", new cover, four bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ZERO HOUR Zero Hour [Aka: Metamorphosis] ratings distribution

(38 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(21%)
Good, but non-essential (39%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

ZERO HOUR Zero Hour [Aka: Metamorphosis] reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Greger
3 stars This is a re-release of Californian progressive metal band ZERO HOUR's self-titled debut album from 1998. The original demo-CD was self-financed and self-produced, but now it's been re-released on the Sensory label. Two tracks have been added together with two demo songs. The band is very technically skilled, they have strong vocals, the music is complex with many time changes and intricate melodies and there are reminiscences to AZTEC JADE, DREAM THEATER, FATES WARNING, POWER OF OMENS, SHADOW GALLERY and SYMPHONY X. The masterpiece "Metamorphosis" alone is worth the money for this CD together with "The System Remains". A safe buy if you're into progressive metal.
Review by AtLossForWords
3 stars Metamophosis is a re-release of Zero Hour's original self titled debut. The album is quite impressive and a very serious listen. Zero Hour is shaped by it's guitar and bass family of Jasun and Troy Tipton who are the only members that have been on each of the band's releases.

This album is quite technical and serious. The synth sounds stray from the typical sound of analogs and into a more serious tone. I must give Matt Guillory credit for the great selection of synths he used on this album.

The vocals deserve much credit too. Erik Rosvold's voice is perfect for this album. It's calm, dramatic, and intense. Rosvold shows some range, but stays in a safe alto range throughout the album. Rosvold picks his spots to sing perfectly never stealing the spotlight from other band members.

Guitars are prominent throughout the technical passages. The rythmn guitar of Jasun Tipton is nothing to write home about, but the technique he uses is close to incredible. The finest display of his skill is the insturmental track "A Passage". The song is a guitar duet of well himself. One acoustic rythmn guitar mixed with an electric guitar shredding over the top of the piece. Really a phoenomenal display of control and speed.

Not much to say about the drums and bass other than they are tight. The execution that this band posseses more than makes up for a slight lack of creativity. The album is one again highly techincal, but lacks insturmental catchyness if I am free to use such a term.

The production is good. The keyboards are i commented on earlier are well selected. The vocals are rich and well harmonized. The bass is clear and punchy. The guitars are somewhat weak. I don't think there were quite enough tracks to capture the full range of Tipton's guitars. The drums are somewhat lacking also. The bass drum has more than enough prescence, but lacks a distinct tone that most drummers usually capture. The production is average. Great in some parts and dissapointing in others.

Review by King of Loss
3 stars This is the rerelease of the American progressive Heavy Metal band of Zero Hour's first and debut album with 4 extra tracks. The production has improved on this album and with the 4 extra tracks, there is more music, about 53 minutes of it.

Here is my song by song analysis of this album:

1. Eyes of Denial (4:42) - An ok opener, kinda generic, but ok. The song doesn't impress me, but is ok nevertheless. 3/5

2. The System Remains (7:22)- Probably my favorite Zero Hour song of all time. The combination of technicality, brutality and emotions make this mindblowing and parts of it are almost at breakneck speed. Great song. 5/5

3. *Rebirth (Bonus Track) (5:49)- Another one of these songs, ok, but not great 3/5

4. Voice of Reason (8:40)- This song fails to impress me, with its boring technical themes, un-emotional shredding. 2/5

5. *A Passage (Instrumental) (Bonus Track) (2:25)- A short instrumental based totally on technicality, what more can I give it? 2/5 6. Metamorphosis - One of the best Epics in Prog Metal. Filled with technicality and extreme rhythmns as compared to Dream Theater's structured attack to Symphony X's Symphonic Neo-Classical approach. Think This Dying Soul with Dream Theater, but much more technical and not quite as heavy.

7. *Eyes of Denial (Demo Version) (3:57) - I can't say I like the song or the demo, but the song is surely better 2/5 8. *Jaded Eyes (Instrumental) (Demo) (3:29)- A mindblowing instrumental, but with demo quality...... 3/5

This is a good disc. Not that great and not that bad. Overall its a good, solid 3.5 album. Highly recommended for fans of Dream Theater, Spiral Architect, Shadow Gallery.

Review by The T
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars You can remember a good pop song almost in its entirety after just one hearing. A symphony by Mahler or Shostakovich, probably will take a long time, more than twenty sessions listening to all the details, but eventually, you'll be there. You'll remember at least the core of the work.

Every well made music, from the bottom of the ladder to the top, should leave a lasting impression in your memory. That's what structure is for. Yes, those who say there should be no choruses and repetition of parts in progressive music are so so wrong....for in the highest form of this art, by far more "progressive" than prog-rock, there is repetition... there must be something that gives coherence, a sense of structural rhythm to a composition.... Our beloved genre, whatever you may say, is first and foremost ROCK, wheter it's metal, space, symphonic, or any subgenre, they all come from the womb of ROCK, and as rock pieces (yes, Genesis and Yes too, they are progressive ROCKERS), our songs must have any resemblance at leats to a structural unity....

Enter Zero Hour....

Man, I've heard this album more than 6 times, one day I listened to it three times one after the other! And you know what?

I still can't remember a single song...not a song... a can't even remember a single section!!! Now, this is a very techinical record, I give you that. every musician here is capable of playing a lot of notes at the same time and at thunderous speeds... the drummer, for instance, is really fantastic, one of the best I've heard.... the singer is not great but gets the job done.... so, instrumentally speaking, you'll hear quite a few details that will leave you admiring the band members... but the problem is, if you try to remember what you just listened to, if you try to hmmm or whistle or in any way evocate any part of this collection of songs...well, you won't... for this cd was made with the utmost disrespect to the laws of coherence and integrity that should be embraced by any good piece of art... every song in the album is a mess made up from a thousand complex, yet not quite connected with each other riffs; time signature changes, so abruptly done that they don't sound technichal, they sound violent, illogical, hurting people's ears and mind.

So should I give this album at least credit for its technicality? Welll.... not really. After listening to this, I've bought an album by Spiral Architect, and then I realized Zero Hour is not even that complex a music.... for Spiral Architect's works are extremely more difficult but they manage to retain a little, but it's there, sense of coherence. And please, let's not talk about really technical music, not the one you play by trying to show you have three arms but the one you achieve by making the most out of harmony and melody.... try The Flower Kings, try Yes, or in metal, try Dream Theater, try Shadow Gallery.... you won't hear octopusses playing music here...but you'll here MUSIC....

Avoid completely.... for ultra technical metal, try Cynic or Spiral Architect.... For good songs, try everything else....

Not recommended for: music lovers that like their songs to be coherent

Recommended for: sea-creatures lovers, specially octopusses

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Zero Hour is one of the more sophisticated technical progressive metal bands around, their music is very much in the style of "Awake" era Dream Theater with similar moods and emotional textures combined with aggressive yet intelligent guitar riffing. "Metamorphosis" is basically a re-issue of the bands first album with some nice extras like unreleased tracks/demos and overall better production and different artwork and is an excellent alternative if you can't find the original album (which is very rare anyways) as well as being a good introduction to the band as well. The music can best be described as a mix of early Dream Theater with strong vibes of those more regular tech-prog metal bands around such as Power of Omens and Cynic mixed with the power of Symphony X. It might be an acquired taste for newcomers of the prog-metal genre but fans of those bands I just mentioned should like this a lot. The mood is very intense at times but the band knows when to let the listener breathe and they are extremely dynamic overall as well being very melodic and incredibly atmospheric. The most representative track here have to be "The System Remains" which basically sums up the overall style and mood for this album very well, and it's one of the band's finest tracks as well!

Instrumentally, this band is TIGHT! The Tipton brothers are one of the best guitar/bass duo's I've heard in a long time and they really know how to handle their instruments and how to use them right. They both show great diversity and always manage to rock out without exaggerating at all, an unfortunately rare case for the prog-metal genre these days. Their style is calm and knowing but still very heavy and tight. Mike Guy does a fantastic job here as well with fast but controlled drumming that goes along with the complex and adventurous song structures extremely well. Guy is a really tight drummer who seems always ready for a challenge and has a very unique style that fits Zero Hour perfectly. I have to agree with fellow reviewer Vince that vocalist Erik Rosvold is absolutely perfect for this band. His voice is like a mix between Russel Allen and James LaBrie, only calmer but still shows a great range and as the rest of the band, this guy knows how to use his instrument (voice that is) well without going overboard. The keyboards here (done by Matt Guillory) create most of the extra atmosphere and really push the album up a notch by adding an adventurous and unique style to the album.

Overall, this album is a great technical prog-metal album that is very rewarding and unique. Fantastic musicianship and wonderful songwriting makes this a very worthy purchase for any prog-metal fan that likes adventurous, complex and sophisticated metal. It has slightly weaker moments but the rest of the music makes up for it. 4.5/5

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Zero Hour" is the eponymously titled debut full-length studio album (sometimes referred to as an EP) by US, California based progressive metal act Zero Hour. The album was originally independently released in 1999 but saw a 2003 re-release through Sensory Records. The 2003 reissue is titled "Metamorphosis", named after the epic suite track of the same name occupying the latter half of the release. The reissue features four additional tracks, which arenīt featured on the 1999 original version of the release.

If you are familiar with Zero Hourīs 1994 eponymously titled demo, much have happened since that release. Guitarist Sean Kruithoff has left, and Jasun Tipton has taken over all guitar duties. Keyboard player Matt Guillory has been added to the lineup, and original lead vocalist Luis A. Ortiz has been replaced by Erik Rosvold. Stylistically Zero Hour have also made major changes to the original melodic heavy metal sound (with progressive metal leanings) towards a technical/progressive metal sound. The addition of a permanent keyboard player to the lineup canīt help but bring Dream Theater associations, but although that influence canīt be denied, Zero Hour have original ideas too that they successfully bring to the table and incorporate. Rosvold is for example a very powerful and quite unconventional progressive metal vocalist. The only singer I can think of who has a voice that is similar is Devin Townsend, and thatīs definitely not the worst singer to be compared to. Zero Hour also have a rather distinct sounding riffing style (lots of fast note riffs and time-signature changes), which is a bit unusual and often pretty hard edged compared to other contemporary progressive metal artists.

The keyboards are omnipresent and dominates the soundscape along with the vocals, but the heavy (and faster) odd-metered riffs and technical drumming and bass playing also have an audible place in the mix. The sound production is not the most well sounding out there, but itīs decent enough and donīt ruin the music or anything like that. It could just have been a little better balanced. The original version of the album features three individual tracks and the 17:05 minutes long "Metamorphosis" suite, which is divided into five sub-tracks. All tracks feature intriguing melodies, powerful and challenging instrumental work, and Rosvoldīs strong voice and passionate performance in front. While especially the keyboards are a little too generic and predictable if youīre familiar with Dream Theater-type progressive metal, this is still a high quality progressive metal album showing great promise. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

(Review originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. It's important to know that this is a re-issue of ZERO HOUR's self titled debut. That one went out of print quickly as only 2,000 copies were originally produced. Travis Smith does the excellent cover art on this edition, and 2 tracks have been added to this one that were previously unreleased but recorded during the same sessions that birthed the debut record. Matt Guillory from DALI'S DILEMMA provides the guest keyboard work, except for on "Voice Of Reason" where Phil Bennett performs on keys. They thank a lot of bands including EVERGREY, POWER OF OMENS, SYMPHONY X, SUN CAGED, VANDEN PLAS, WOLVERINE, POVERTY'S NO CRIME, PAIN OF SALVATION, BLIND GUARDIAN and ANATHEMA where they say "We didn't steal your beer, New Jersey Dave did, LOL!!!". My first musical love is Metal, and ZERO HOUR in my opinion are near the top of the Prog-Metal genre. Erik's vocals are amazing, and the Tipton twins on bass and lead guitar will blow your mind with their unique and complex abilities. Mike Guy on drums provides the thunder.

"Eyes Of Denial" opens with synths and lots of atmosphere before a crushing wall of sound arrives a minute in. A calm as vocals come in. Back to the heaviness and Jasun shows his stuff after 3 1/2 minutes. "The System Remains" opens with some heavy instrumental work. The vocals come in with synths and a lot of atmosphere. Great section. Heaviness joins in with piano. Amazing. Themes are repeated. This is such an incredible song. Jasun comes in shredding before 5 minutes followed by a flury of keys before Jasun ends it with another solo. The song continues to shift gears often. "Rebirth" opens with piano as reserved vocals join in. Erik sure can sing as he holds the note before it gets heavier before 2 minutes. Tipton rips it up as drums pound 4 1/2 minutes in. "Voice Of Reason" again sounds so good vocally as heaviness and complexity continue to impress. Love the background synths. Thunderous drums after 5 minutes, a calm follows. Female spoken words after 7 minutes. From 8 minutes to the end is absolutely incredible and emotional with the vocal melodies and synths.

"A Passage" is an instrumental that opens with acoustic guitar before the electric guitar joins in. You have to hear this one. "Metamorphosis" is the final track and it's divided into 5 parts. First up is "Descent" a melodic track with great vocals. It's like a stampede to open though. Heaviness comes and goes, but I love the sections inbetween. "Awaken" opens with piano as heavy bass and synths join in, and then guitar. Vocals follow. I really like the guitar lines. "Union" is brighter sounding with piano early. It kicks into gear after 2 1/2 minutes with a barrage of drums. Tipton is busy after 4 1/2 minutes. Sounds like a choir before 5 1/2 minutes. "Solace" opens with a vocal sample of someone yelling emotionally.This is solace ? Haha. "Ascent" is the uplifting closer. They all shine so bright on this final track.

This is a great place to start for anyone wanting to check this band out. This one isn't as harsh or metallic as the records that follow.

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