Zero Hour: A Fragile Mind
Zero Hour - A Fragile Mind - [Sensory]


Zero Hour are a relatively veteran US prog metal band, at its base are two talented brothers/musicians Jasun and Troy Tipton, hey, with that last name you cant go wrong!
A major plus in this album is their vocalist, though, Fred Marshall has a strong, melodic voice, mid-range most of the time, with some upper notes reached easily at certain points, his delivery elevates the first track, "There For Me", which also benefits from a great guitar line.

The sound by the way, is phenomenal, at first I was certain that it was done by the famed Neil Kernon, because of its meatiness and depth, the drums especially sound explosive and strong, the combination of the sound and the melody in the first track reminded me of "Nevermore", but the strange middle section in the song reminded me that the band is closer to prog metal than to power/thrash metal.

Second track brings forth more progressive elements, starts of with some good drum work by Mike Guy, and continues to a long, complex song, the band's prog metal is quite different than most prog bands, they do not utilize keyboards, but use complex, almost fusion-like riffs to break and diversify the songs, the track also futures a rather over-wrought clean guitar segment, sounding a but ambient and psychedelic.

Brain Surgery is another good, heavy track, Marshall uses his higher pitched voice in an interesting delivery, very different then the one he used in the first track, again, no virtuoso soloing, no keyboards segments, this is definitely a unique prog metal album.

There's the usual instrumental piece in there, with some fantastic ideas thrown in, but again, it doesn’t feel as a blatant exercise in show-off, the band's prog elements are derived from interesting ideas and plenty of rhythm breaks instead.

I believe this album can be enjoyed by both prog fans, and metal fans that dislike the over complex and keyboard heavy output of most prog bands, it’s a solid release, and I definitely enjoyed it.

Alon Miasnikov

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