Jeff Loomis - _Zero Order Phase_
(Century Media, 2008)
by: Jackie Smit (5.5 out of 10)
There was a fair bit of conniption amongst the metal cyber-community when it was first announced that Jeff Loomis and Warrel Dane would both be embarking on solo outings. Tempers flared across blogs and forums as fans envisioned the dissolution of one of metal's most unsung, yet devastatingly effective partnerships, and Dane's _Praise to the War Machine_ didn't set any minds at ease that life outside of Nevermore could amount to anything like the quality of said powerhouse.

Like his bandmate's effort, Jeff Loomis sounds painfully alone on this one. In part it's down to _Zero Order Phase_ being an instrumental album; for the majority of the record, you can't help but expect Warrel to break out in his trademark falsetto. This is aggravated by songs like "Shouting Fire at a Funeral" and "Race Against Disaster" sounding quite like they could have been scratch tracks to a Nevermore album, give or take a handful of extra guitar solos. Thus it's not even a case of _Zero Order Phase_ outright sucking. In fact, for the patient listener there's a fair bit to sink your teeth into here. Personally though, I'd just as soon hold my breath for the next Nevermore and forget that either of these releases ever saw the light of day.


(article published 1/9/2008)

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