Zero Hour - _The Towers of Avarice_
by: Brian Meloon (
This is the second album from Texans Zero Hour, and it is very similar to the Dream Theater-inspired progmetal of their eponymous 1997 debut. Their sound is very tight and metallic, much like Dream Theater's heaviest moments on _Images and Words_, such as "Pull Me Under" and "Under a Glass Moon". The production is excellent, with a crystal clear sound. The playing is rock solid, and even technical and flashy at times. Their riffs -- while not particularly great -- are at least original; unlike most Dream Theater-inspired bands, I don't get the feeling that I've heard them all before. Unfortunately, Zero Hour seem to be afflicted with "perpetual RSN (Real Soon Now) syndrome", as in "real soon now, the song will really take off" or "real soon now, something interesting will happen", but it never does. The songs don't build to a climax, they just seem to perpetually tread water until they just end. Perhaps their "no beginning, no end" songwriting style has some deep connection with their lyrics, but I'm guessing not. These guys have a great and very professional sound, but they need some serious help on their songwriting to make their songs interesting and memorable. While this is a good album technically, it's not something that I'll listen to very much.
(article published 10/19/2001)
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