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Prodigal Earth - "Zenith II Zero" (CD)

Prodigal Earth - "Zenith II Zero" CD cover image

"Zenith II Zero" track listing:

1. Disaster 121 (4:54)
2. Broken World (4:06)
3. Lonely Gods (4:06)
4. Once Upon A Crime (5:22)
5. Crossroads (5:15)
6. God's Children (4:44)
7. The Young Ones (3:15)
8. Will To Live (7:02)
9. The End (Ashes of Desire Pt. 1) (6:29)
10. Pro Defunctis (4:18)
11. Pro Defunctis (Alternate version) (4:16)

Reviewed by on May 2, 2009

"Though Prodigal Earth seems to want to play classic metal, their propensity seems to be in the power metal and glam realms"

Not too many metal acts come out Cyprus, but the tiny country’s latest group, Prodigal Earth, is definitely one to watch. With their debut release, "Zenith II Zero," they have proven that they know their way around Iron Maiden type classic sounds.

Like Iron Maiden, Prodigal Earth’s vocals are just melodic enough to get the job done, though at times lead vocalist Nicholas Letpos' (Diptheria) voice is a bit monotone. Still, his fondness for writing catchy tunes can be seen in songs like "Broken World," with its nearly glam style shreds, and my favorite song on the album, "The Young Ones." This tune is a great vocals-driven song similar to AC/DC, but with some great glass-shattering screeches and an addictive tempo.

Those who like progressive and film-score sounding tracks should like "God’s Children" and both versions of the final track, "Pro Defunctis." Sure, the demonic growls that open "God’s Children" are a bit on the cheesy side, but the mix of classic metal with mid-tempo power metal and early glam works well. "Pro Defunctis" is a nice, almost symphonic sounding piece that sounds like an Andrew Lloyd Weber love song. As for the alternate version, the only noticeable difference is in the vocals; the bonus track features guest vocals by an unnamed siren.

Though Prodigal Earth seems to want to play classic metal, their propensity seems to be in the power metal and glam realms. There are scaling, wailing guitars throughout the album, which actually get a bit out of hand on "Crossroads." But the vocals, which at times are dissonant, particularly in "Once Upon A Crime," don’t allow them to stray too far into the pretty-boy genre.

Overall, Prodigal Earth has released an album that is pretty good for a first release, but nothing to rush out to the store over. The guitar work is solid throughout, but the drum beat has a few off moments, and Letpos' vocals just aren’t all that smashing. Still, the potential is there, and the band probably warrants a revisiting when the time comes around for another release.

Highs: "The Young Ones" is a good, catchy tune that brings to mind classic 70’s icons like AC/DC and Iron Maiden.

Lows: Some rough tempos, and vocals that could be improved.

Bottom line: A good attempt at bringing back some classic sounds, but they fall slightly short of the goal.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

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)