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Review: Zero Hour - Specs of Pictures Burnt Beyond
Zero Hour
www.myspace.com/zerohourband
Specs of Pictures Burnt Beyond

Label: Sensory Records
Year released: 2006
Duration: 43:08
Tracks: 7
Genre: Progressive Metal

Rating: 4/5

Review online: February 17, 2011
Reviewed by: Christopher Foley
Readers Rating
for:
Specs of Pictures Burnt Beyond

Rated 3.57/5 (71.43%) (7 Votes)
Review


Progressive metal is a wonderful genre, and it's great to see that a lot of bands don't rely solely on the ground paved by Dream Theater. California's Zero Hour is one such band, their sound being a superb blend of middle-period Fates Warning, Control Denied, Twisted Into Form, and some nuances in the guitar work that remind of instrumental project Animals as Leaders.

Of course, being a progressive metal act Zero Hour are a bunch of ridiculously talented musicians. Between oscillating drum work cascading through mind-numbing time signatures, tight guitar work running through technical flurries of notes into more well placed chugs and sprinkled with all the fancy fret board acrobatics you'd expect of the genre. Wrapped around the proficient drum and guitar work is some of the finest bass guitar work I've heard in quite some time, with an excellent tone and a great eye for detail, there is something to listen out for from each of the instruments here. Specs of Pictures Burnt Beyond was also the first Zero Hour album to feature ex-Power of Omens vocal powerhouse Chris Salinas and I have to say this is the finest performance I've heard from the man. He reminds me largely of Ray Alder with a slight nod to James Rivera, however Chris demonstrates a little more power in the high registers and commands a mighty range, he would go on to try some weird stuff on follow-up album Dark Deceiver but here he gave us a performance for the ages.

Specs of Pictures Burnt Beyond traverses through the aforementioned progressive metal madness with ease, dropping off into serene clean channel sections which are soothing and well done. These are moments where Chris' vocal talents really shine. Tracks such as the superb album opener "Face The Fear", the title track and "Evidence of the Unseen" demonstrate exactly what Zero Hour do best. For fans of progressive metal, especially those of you that like the technical stuff, this album is a dead cert, a welcome addition to any progressive metal collection. I hope to hear from Zero Hour again in the future because they were always on to a cool thing. Recommended.

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