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Zero 2 Nothing – Limits Of Temptation Award winner

Zero 2 Nothing
Limits Of Temptation
by Santiago Puyol at 03 April 2021, 10:44 AM

ZERO 2 NOTHING is a Progressive Rock and Hard Rock band from Athens, Greece. "Limits Of Temptation", released on February 21st 2021, is their debut record. Comprising 9 tracks over 37 minutes, it is an accessible yet powerful first statement by this quartet. It does lean more on the Hard Rock than the Prog in this reviewer’s opinion, but still a more than satisfying first album.

Opener "Run Away From U" begins with catchy riffing and an overall Hard Rock vibe, even some "Load/ReLoad" era METALLICA vibes, in the best sense of the comparison. A track drenched in swagger with a great rock organ sound. Vasilis "Bill" Kouvelis’ guitar work is simply impeccable, both from a rhythmic standpoint as well as the little soloing he gets to lay down here.

"Closer" follow with its melodramatic intro and a bit of a Morricone-esque spaghetti western feel. It builds to a gorgeous Grungy chorus. Ourania "Rania" Vlachouli’s piano adds a melancholic, subtle theatricality. More 90’s Rock vibes, channeling some PEARL JAM or even the softer side of RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS. A dusty harmonica completes the picture.

Heavy syncopation from the whole band come up on "Dream Awake", especially noticeable on the drums’ accent work. Paired with some tempo changes, it adds a slice of Prog into the core of an otherwise catchy, groovy track. Nothing too flashy though, and that is for the best, as it does not go against the strong foundation of the track. The songwriting is one of ZERO 2 NOTHING best assets.

"In God’s Will" caught me completely off-guard on a first time listen. That is some nasty, dirty heavy Blues. The organ tone, the guitar crunchiness, those delicious bass runs by Christos "Chris" Peveretos and Thodoris "Teo" Tsouanatos’ soulful singing all pair up nicely. A highlight of the album, the band in full synergy delivering the catchiest song of all. I’m not surprised at all that it was chosen as a single, it was born for radio play.

The band doubles down on the energy with "Feel My Sorrow", at least until the nostalgic bridge of the song, harkening back to the 90’s again. The verses and chorus are simply high energy and urgent all the way. The bridge and guitar solo exude melancholy. Rania gets to fool around with the synths in a half-solo. It all build to an explosive finale. Together with "In God’s Will", this is a mid-album one-two punch.

Slide and acoustic guitar add a bit of an Alternative Country feel to "Limits Of Temptation". The title track is more somber and meditative than the previous tracks. Very BLACK SABBATH-inspired when it comes to the dark, at times vaguely Doom-y sound. It is clearly a track that reveals itself with time, it is not as immediate as most of the record.

Naming a track like your band is certainly a risk but also an opportunity. It is kind of your presentation card, and "Zero 2 Nothing" surely is a great one. Heavier than most of the songs on the album, it might go a little bit overboard in that sense, but it showcases the strong songwriting and the knack for a catchy chorus. The band even lets loose and jams a little bit.

The band gives us another gorgeous Hard Rock band with "Running Deep In Me", before the grand finale: "Bloody Mary". The closer does a balancing act between its more somber, grittier side and its powerful, raw Hard Rock energy. Chris’ bass sounds really dirty and memorable in this superb closing track. Teo delivers a melodramatic spoken word section that surely ramps up the theatricality, while the song ends on a pensive piano and guitar duo coda.

Let’s be clear on one issue here though. If I were to review this record as a Prog one and not as its own thing, I would be completely lost. My main complain with "Limits Of Temptation" is that it does not even try to be a Prog record, so the Prog Rock line of promoting is a bit baffling and completely unnecessary. There are no crazy time signature changes, most songs stay in the same tempo and there are not multi-section, 10+-minute songs. They have the chops to do it, for sure, but this time around, they do not deliver that. This is a gorgeous, unabashed Hard Rock record, with subtle Prog, Grunge and Metal influences, and it is all the best for that.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Run Away From U
2. Closer
3. Dream Awake
4. In God’s Will
5. Feel My Sorrow
6. Limits Of Temptation
7. Zero 2 Nothing
8. Running Deep In Me
9. Bloody Mary
Lineup:
Thodoris "Teo" Tsouanatos – Vocals
Ourania "Rania" Vlachouli – Piano & Synths
Vasilis "Bill" Kouvelis – Guitars
Christos "Chris" Peveretos – Bass & Harmonics
Record Label: Art Gates Records
     


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