ZERO HOUR

Progressive Metal • United States
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In 1993, almost everyone thought that metal was history. Guitarist Jasun Tipton and bassist Troy Tipton, twin brothers from the San Francisco Bay Area, did not succumb to these prevailing doubts. They believed that even through the darkest hour, metal would live on, and they set about forming a band that would not only keep progressive metal in a place of honor, but would shatter the mold in the process. And so in creating Zero Hour, the brothers envisioned a dark, heavy, emotional vibe, expressed through intricate arrangements, forceful vocals, and meaningful lyrics.

Zero Hour self-financed their first release which established the group as a prog-metal tour de force upon its issuance in 1998; an initial pressing of 2,000 units sold out quickly, leaving fans worldwide anxiously awaiting more Zero Hour material. The praises of the press flowed from around the globe, and the self-titled debut garnered raves from Flash
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Dark DeceiverDark Deceiver
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ZERO HOUR Discography

ZERO HOUR albums / top albums

ZERO HOUR Zero Hour album cover 3.75 | 4 ratings
Zero Hour
Progressive Metal 1999
ZERO HOUR The Towers of Avarice album cover 4.07 | 8 ratings
The Towers of Avarice
Progressive Metal 2001
ZERO HOUR Metamorphosis album cover 3.50 | 3 ratings
Metamorphosis
Progressive Metal 2003
ZERO HOUR A Fragile Mind album cover 4.19 | 4 ratings
A Fragile Mind
Progressive Metal 2005
ZERO HOUR Specs of Pictures Burnt Beyond album cover 4.00 | 6 ratings
Specs of Pictures Burnt Beyond
Progressive Metal 2006
ZERO HOUR Dark Deceiver album cover 3.93 | 9 ratings
Dark Deceiver
Progressive Metal 2008

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ZERO HOUR Reviews

ZERO HOUR Dark Deceiver

Album · 2008 · Progressive Metal
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Pelata
I tell you, if you don’t know what to expect from Zero Hour, it can be a somewhat overwhelming experience. They’ve gotten a new singer since I last heard them (which was the amazing Towers Of Avarice album) and seem to have really cranked up the intensity level. They were already heavier than most other Prog Metal bands out there, at the time, and they seem to have only gotten more so since.This new album Dark Deceiver is a ferocious exercise in controlled chaos.

Technically, it’s absolutely stunning. Throwing convention out the window, the band has delivered an album that comes off as a rabid blend of Nevermore, Meshuggah and Fates Warning. When it’s heavy, it’ll bash your skull in. When it’s technical, it’ll nearly cause seizures. When it’s melodic, it’ll move your soul. Opening cut “Power To Believe” is a mind-scrambling beast of a track. I can’t remember the last time I heard so many notes from a bass guitar. 12-minute epic “Inner Spirit” has tons of twists, turns and more twists from beginning to end, containing simultaneously some of the albums most melodic and most vicious moments. The two instrumentals on offer here, the bass solo “Tendonitis” (aptly named) and full-band freak out “Severed Angel”, are mini-clinics that will either inspire musicians to get better or cause them to give up entirely.

Don’t come here looking for short and sweet hooks. You won’t find them and you’ll end up lost in a wicked, woven labyrinth of creepy melodies, atom-smashing heaviness and triple-jointed musical dexterity. Enter at your own risk, miss at your own peril.

ZERO HOUR The Towers of Avarice

Album · 2001 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Pelata
This is quite possibly the best American prog metal record I have heard since Dream Theater’s Awake. Dark, brooding melody, aggressive staccato riffing, excellent vocal delivery and an urgent intensity all come together in a record of massive proportions.

Now, let me clarify Zero Hour’s definition of “prog metal.” There is absolutely no, I mean no, European power metal influence on this record. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (as aptly proven by the mighty Symphony X), but the world just didn’t need that again. Nor are we presented with yet another attempt at blatantly copying Dream Theater’s style. If there is any one band one can point to as Zero Hour’s closest relative, it would probably be Fates Warning. But even that comparison wouldn’t be totally accurate.

I’m reminded of Spiral Architect and the legendary Watchtower with all the syncopation, odd-time and signature changes that run through every moment of this disc. Drummer Mike Guy is simply inhuman, at times. His double kick-drum skills are relentless, and his feel for odd time is impeccable. Troy Tipton’s bass is cemented to Guy’s drumming with a round, tight tone and heavy bottom end. Guitarist Jasun Tipton really stands out as a major talent here. Combining the minimalist, melodic riff style of ’90s-era Jim Matheos with dynamic lead technique he helps create a deep, emotional landscape of sound.

Where many bands seem to fall short at times, Zero Hour excels with an exceptional vocalist. Erik Rosvold has a thick, melodic, powerful voice that delivers the lyrics with authority and conviction. His melodies are passionate, his harmonies are intense, and his tone is rich and soulful. Rosvold also serves as the bands keyboard player on this release adding dense, atmospheric synth tones.

For me to try and describe the songs individually would, I feel, do The Towers of Avarice a great injustice. This album has more gripping melody, intricate dynamics, stunning musicianship and unbridled intensity than I have heard from an American band in several years! Highlights include the musically staggering “Stratagem” whose 2-plus minute intro alone is worth the price of admission! Also, the somber yet riveting “Reflections” with it’s arid clean tones and captivating vocal melody. The 15-plus minute “Demise and Vestige” must be heard! The emotional journey that the band takes the listener on with this song is an epic one full of stratospheric peaks and desolate valleys.

To sum up, you need to go buy this record now! Zero Hour are quickly closing in on the reigning “Holy Trinity” of American prog metal (Dream Theater, Fates Warning and Symphony X) and are already establishing themselves as legends in the genre.

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