Sunday, January 18, 2015

Zero Down-No Limit to the Evil

Minotauro Records

Released a little over a month ago, "No Limit to the Evil" is the latest release from Seattle, Washington's own Zero Down. At a little under forty minutes in length it is Zero Down's forth overall full-length release and it serves as the long-overdue follow-up to late 2011's "Looking to Start a Riot". Falling somewhere in that grey area between traditional heavy metal and N.W.O.B.H.M. (think Judas Priest/Iron Maiden territory) this Seattle band if further complimented (and I mean drop-dead seriously COMPLIMENTED!) by the punk backgrounds of the various members (gang vocals do a good job of bridging the band's punk rock roots with their more modern approach to thrash rockin' the joint down!) and a full-tilt admiration for all things Motörhead! The vocals of Mark "Hawk" Hawkinson (formerly of crossover/punk band DUMT) are shredded raw and man if that doesn't just give this five-piece an extra air of attitude then I don't know what will! Rounded out by what might just be one of metal's most underrated set of guitarists in Lenny Burnett (ex-No Direction) & Matt Fox (ex-DUMT) and featuring a pretty steady rhythm section in Ronnie Banner and drummer Chris Gohde (bass and drums respectively) Zero Down opens strong on the riff-heavy, Metal Church meets Thin Lizzy on a road trip to HELL(!) "Return of the Godz" before the title track pulls back the curtains further showcasing the strength of this band's (well-developed since first forming back in 2002!) distinct take of traditional heavy metal. While the sounds of the seventies rock hard on a number like "Cold Winter’s Night" and "Leche di Tigre" cruises towards Sabbath territory it's the slammer "Phantom Host" that really proves that a band like Zero Down can push the speedometer all the way to the floor! Even if a cut like "Suicide Girls" falls flat there is the memorable "Steve McQueen" to put everything back into perspective. "Devils Thorn" recalls classic Accept even as it's a raw and ravaged slab of garage metal! The Motörhead love thrashes heavy on "Two Ton Hammer" and by the time we close with the excellent "Black Rhino' we've taken an interesting walk through the hallways of heavy metal where bands from A (Accept and early Anthrax) to Z (fellow Seattle natives Zeke and  Znöwhite) are paid homage to. And that right there is what makes a band like Zero Down so fantastically fun to listen to! Zero Down are heavy metal for the sake of heavy metal and they make no bones about it! They are not afraid to shuffle the deck style-wise and given the band's obvious taste for not only metal (Raven, Judas Priest, Metallica and Motörhead being just a few choices being highlighted), but hard rock (AC/DC) and classic rock (Thin Lizzy) there is so much here to digest that you might want to take a second helping! At the end of the day this one proves to be the perfect addition to any self-respecting metalhead's personal collection!

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