Reviews Archive:

ZANISTER - Symphonica Millenia
ZERO HOUR - The Towers Of Avarice
ZONATA - Tunes Of Steel

Symphonica Millenia
(Shark Records)

David T. Chastain had been a well-known Metal guitarist in the mid 80's, he released about 100 (...) albums in about five years at that time. After this release overkill, there were some years of silence, then he came back with his project CHASTAIN in the mid 90's, produced the KENZINER debut and now he is back with ZANISTER. The second surprise: Michael Harris from ARCH RIVAL plays the second guitar. The third one: the song-writing is very song-orientated, no solo extravaganzas this time. The fourth one: the music can be defined as classy Metal with light progressive and some neo-classical tendencies, supported by the powerful singer Brian Sarvela. Maybe his work as a producer with the neo-classical KENZINER did have an impact on David, who knows. The album clocks in at 58.42 minutes and no track disappoints, an album whose vocal performance, guitar work and top notch musicianship astonishes along with good songs, but without creating a killer tune or a special song which you remember the other morning, eating your breakfast. One of his better records, even if his U.S. Metal highlight "The 7th Of Never" (featuring Leather on vocals) in 1987 still remains inaccessible. But all of us know - those were the times.....
Heinz Konzett

The Towers Of Avarice

One of 1999's underground Progressive Metal finds was this California quartet- and holding on to a one song preview of this for a solid year had me awaiting a powerhouse full length. At six songs/ 45 minutes you may think that as a listener you're getting shortchanged for a musicianship filled effort. How wrong you'd be- "The Towers Of Avarice" illustrates the carefully delicious aural odyssey where craft meets brooding Metal headlong. The polyrhythms keep you guessing for the riff changes while vocalist Erik Rosvold sneers, whispers and commands with a dynamic but very palatable voice. Layering keyboards and guitars create the most tension filled arrangements I've heard yet from ZERO HOUR- trust me you'll gain hours of enjoyment trying to pick out your favorite song. Another solid production from Dino Alden and band- plus I enjoy the stark/ bleak cover art that compliments the abstract music on offer. The top four bands in progressive Metal today are READING ZERO, HEAVEN'S CRY, SPIRAL ARCHITECT and ZERO HOUR. "The Towers Of Avarice" stands shoulders above FATES WARNING or DREAM THEATER's latest creations- those into technical Metal, Progressive or dark power will salivate over this masterpiece. Available at all fine mail orders. Web:
Matt Coe

Tunes Of Steel
(Century Media)

Many people will call their music True Metal. That's an offence to real True Metal bands as SKULLVIEW, JAG PANZER, ICED EARTH..... These Swedes are obviously HELLOWEEN/GAMMA RAY/HAMMERFALL copycats, and an average one, too. The singer sounds like a weak Hansen clone and the music is played loveless, without using any exciting riffing. The German melodic Speed Metal king Hansen and the copyists HAMMERALL have surely made an immense impact to countless bands but I can absolutely not understand why each Metal label on our unholy earth signs her own clone band of this type of Metal. Where's the sense in doing these beside money? There are cool and honest bands out there that are fighting seriously for a deal and don't succeed because of their non-trendy, real Metal music (ION VEIN, DIVISION, ZERO HOUR, POWER OF OMENS, TALISPHERE....) and bands as ZONATA already get a deal after existing one year and not playing any live gigs. This disgusting development in our music makes me sick. No, this is NO True Metal, this is poppy music without emotion and balls. Sad, very sad.
Heinz Konzett