Thursday, May 22, 2014

Etta Zero-The Last Of All Sunsets

Dr. Music Records | Membran

Etta Zero (Mathias Nutt-Vocals/Synth Programming, Johannes Schraner-Guitar/Synth Programming,
Thomas Hemmi-Bass/Piano/Synth Programming and Marius Matt-Drums & Percussion) were a new name for me and, as I clicked play on the promo link for "The Last Of All Sunsets", I had no idea what to expect. Initially formed back in 2000 under the name Downfall, covers under which name the band issued two EPs (one four track EP of original compositions and one four track EP of covers) and original playing rock-based interpretations of 80’s Synth Pop songs the band (who at the time were more or less a Synth Pop Metal outfit) changed their name to Etta Zero in October of 2010 with the (long time coming!) "The Last Of All Sunsets" serving as their debut album. Now a mixture of the past (Synth Pop Metal, dark rock, goth rock, alternative rock, etc.), the present (modern electronic sounds, groove-based rock, modern hard rock, heavy rock, heavy metal and radio rock) and the near future (striking, stylistic heavy electronic rock/metal that sounds like it could be the soundtrack for the day after tomorrow and weeks, months and years to come!) Etta Zero has the kind of resourceful delivery most bands could only dream of! Hailing from the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein, the members of Etta Zone have a clear cut case of extreme chemistry, one which has resulted from the fact that these four musicians (who have know each other since their younger, formative years) have played together in "different formations, casts and styles since the middle of the 90’s". Translated that means you have a band whose debut album sounds as if it's the result of a band that has going at it for years and years and if "The Last Of All Sunsets" is anything to go by the band should have plenty of good years to look forward to! Electronic rock fans would do well to check out the group's choice cover of "Heartbeats" (from Swedish Synth Pop duo The Knife), the emotional roller-coaster track that is "Sorrow" (radio rock is calling for this crusher!), "All That I See", the harsh "Anymore" (where the band draws from the likes of Filter, Coldplay, Depeche Mode and, believe it or not, 90's alternative rock) or "Set Me Free" while everyone else (ie: fans of synth-heavy hard rock/heavy metal) should head over to the melodic metal/modern heavy rock title cut (this one has a sharp set of choppers hiding underneath it's deceptive smile and like "Sorrow", and about four or five other cuts here, is sure to get stuck in your head!), the wicked "From The Ashes", "Etta Zero" ("Black"-era Metallica re-imagined as a modern day, post-grunge, streamlined version of Filter!), the dark metal-infused "The Downfall Factory" and album closer, "Heaven Is Closer". Meanwhile a clever cut like "Crush On You" weaves in and out of both sides of the spectrum (rock rhythms and heavy metal hooks) and for Etta Zero, who (wisely) never overuse the electronic elements, these different takes on the same theme (hard-hitting music) work so well because you have skilled musicians like guitarist Johannes Schraner putting forth their best efforts. For a band that started out playing 80's covers you really have to hand it to Etta Zero. "The Last Of All Sunsets" is everything a debut album should be. It has variety and plenty of memorable moments. More so it has several cuts that could easily be singles and it's one of those releases that has timeless written all over it. Etta Zero might have been a band that I was previously unaware of, but now they appear to a band that I'm looking forward to what comes next!

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