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Stormzone - "Zero To Rage" (CD)

Stormzone - "Zero To Rage" CD cover image

"Zero To Rage" track listing:

1. Where We Belong (7:05)
2. Zero to Rage (5:50)
3. Jester’s Laughter (6:07)
4. This Is Our Victory (6:25)
5. Fear Hotel (5:19)
6. Hail the Brave (5:48)
7. Uprising (3:25)
8. Last Man Fighting (7:17)
9. Empire of Fear (6:07)
10. Monsters (6:04)
11. Voice Inside My Head (5:55)
12. Cuchulainn’s Story

Reviewed by on December 31, 2011

"Returning to a time before every band tried to outdo each other with flashy technicality or extreme brutality, Stormzone is a welcome port in the storm of modern metal that should be a household name for devotees of the old school."

Taking a page from the classic bands that really started the heavy revolution, Stormzone’s latest album is an ‘80s metal fan’s dream come true, and there’s enough power metal injected in the formula to keep the new generation interested as well. “Zero to Rage” satisfies the retro metal itch, keeping the fist’s pumping, the head’s banging, and the horns held high.

Frequently on the cusp between a ballad and a shredding guitar solo, the album’s twelve tracks have an infectious attitude and an old school metal appeal. Each song is more an anthem than a collection of notes strung together. The vocals, consisting entirely of clean singing of course, soar between the mid to high range and are fantastically grandiose. It’s not quite at the high pitched falsetto singing that typifies the more bombastic power metal bands, but it definitely gets close.

Although the music isn’t lacking in the energy department, there also isn’t anything particularly technical or showy in the guitar riffs or drum beats. For some this may be a refreshing return to early metal form and a lack of pretention on the part of the musicians, but it also means there isn’t much going on as far as innovation or changes in style throughout the tracks. Several of the six and seven minute songs could easily be trimmed down by a minute or two by throwing out some unnecessary repeating choruses and guitar riffs that go on a bit too long.

Issues of innovation aside, “Zero to Rage” does its chosen style exceedingly well and will no doubt delight fans of Saxon or similar acts. Returning to a time before every band tried to outdo each other with flashy technicality or extreme brutality, Stormzone is a welcome port in the storm of modern metal that should be a household name for devotees of the old school.

Highs: Infectious attitude and every song is a head banging anthem.

Lows: A fair share of repetition and there isn't anything new going on.

Bottom line: Classic '80s heaviness with a power metal feel that consistently pumps out the infectious anthems.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)