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Null 'O' Zero - Instructions to Dominate

Null 'O' Zero
Instructions to Dominate
by Justin "Witty City" Wittenmeier at 30 July 2018, 5:47 AM

NULL’ O’ ZERO have an unnecessarily cumbersome name but their brand of traditional Heavy Metal is a lot more straightforward.  Hailing from Greece, this is their second full length album and it is an above average effort that combines solid riffing with decent solos.  They aren’t terribly original nor will anything you hear on the ten tracks make you say, “Holy shit!” while shaking your horns to the sky but it will make you head bang like like it is 1994.  Speaking of 1994, that happens to be the year SYMPHONY X were formed.  Hey, speaking of SYMPHONY X, this band’s vocalist Gen Sinner (I hope that last name is real), is a near dead ringer for their own vocalist Russell AllenSinner doesn’t display the same range or actorly way with lyrics but he has the exact same vocal shout that is clean but just gritty enough to annoy people who don’t like Metal.  I want to say Sinner is a discount version of the famous Prog frontman but since ADRENALINE MOB is still a thing, I think Russell Allen is now the discount Russell Allen.

With that said, Sinner vocals are energetic and he does bring a certain excitement to the songs and I bet he is a beast in a live setting.  The rest of the band is competent but I feel like they aren’t using their talent to the fullest extent.  Despite showing some tight dynamics here and there, the band only just teeters on a more Prog sound; the guitars, too, are moments away from exploding into a virtuosity display of narcissism but, again, the sound never quite reaches those heights.  Basically, the band really does have a strong Post “The Odyssey” sound but they stay on a pretty straight path of Metal rather than taking a walk around to a side trail to explore.  There isn’t anything wrong with this, as the album is good, but I can’t help but think there is more they could be doing. In essence, this album is something you might hear your 45 year old uncle listening too while he works out with 15 pound dumbbells but it should be something that I should be listening to while sipping ground percolated coffee and making fun of “mainstream plebs” for not understanding that Prog can open portals and turn back time while twirling my vanity cane.

The opening, and title track, serves up a decent overview of what to expect from the rest of the album.  The songs don’t really sound the same but they all definitely have the same feel and pace.  I really liked the melodic opening and the harmonies that are born out of it. Andritos and Kokkorogiannis play off each other well and their riffs are catchy and definitely get the blood pumping.  After the well done solos, we get a bit of a jam session between the two with bassist Deligiannis joining them for a neo progressive break down of sorts.  It was well placed and a great bridge to the final act of the chorus, one that I found myself humming to more than once. “My Last Disguise,” is another track with a melodic opening, this time with military style drumming from Moros, Just like  Jason Rullo (from.well, you know by now), his playing is pretty essential to their sound and if he wasn’t in it, it would substantially change the songs.

Face Down The World,” is indeed an inspiring romp that will have you wanting to start a revolution.  Within the first minute of the song, I was treated to a soulful guitar solo and tasteful melodies before the galloping main riff kicks in. Sinner’s vocals are especially expressive and the bass and drums provide a rhythm section equally as focused.  One of the highlights of the album for sure. “Until The End Comes,” is the obligatory power ballad and I could tell right from the start. I didn’t think Sinner’s vocals could pull it off but his gruffness only adds to the emotion and strain to the lyrics.  A surprisingly good song, if nothing other than hearing how powerful he can get. The last track, “Hate,” is a melodic rager of a track that probably would had worked as the opener but is still a great closer.  The riffs are thrashy, the drums pummeling, and Sinner sings his ass off.  It is the longest track on the album and it also has the most varied parts and pace changes.  Is this a taste of things to come on their next release?  I wouldn’t complain.

This is a promising sophomore release from a band with a lot of talent.  Will they go a bit further with their sound in their next release?  Will they say “screw it” and record as SYMPHONY X? Are they SYMPHONY X?  Time will hopefully tell.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 6
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Instructions To Dominate
2. The Last One
3. My Last Disguise
4. Imprisoned In The Dark
5. Decline The Legacy
6. Face Down The World
7. Better Off Dead
8. Until The End of Life
9. Trapped In A Maze
10. Hate
Lineup:
George Deligiannis – Bass
Lefteris Moros – Drums
Elias Andritsos – Guitars
Aggelos Kokkorogiannis – Guitars
Geo Sinner -  Vocals
Record Label: Rock of Angels Records
     


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