Zero Fire's debut self-titled EP Zero Fire is a mixture of two primary influences: prog rock and heavy metal. This means sharp and booming riffs at the forefront of sonic goodness. Loud and bombastic, fans of dramatic structures and angst-y lyrics will find themselves quite at home here.
The first thing listeners will notice is that the songs are quite brief, with all but the last of the five tracks closing out under three-and-a-half minutes. But the time is spent well and the music made concise. Opener “Out of Time” puts its weight on one major hook in the guitar melody, a simple but effective riff that recalls 2000's metal and all of its offshoots. Vocalist Graham King's melodies at the chorus have a twinge of Coheed and Cambria to them, high reaching and drastic.
If there is an issue potential fans might disagree with, it's the lyrics. From start to finish it's the sort of angst that often goes hand in hand with young bands in the genre. Lyrics like, “you've got hold of my soul/and it makes it hard to see/and I'm left so alone/that it makes it hard to be” (from “Hard to See”) define the lyrical tone of the EP; if that's not your bag, this EP will prove difficult.
That being said there's some nice variation. The final track “All We Are is Evidence” is the EP's most aggressive moment with drummer Erik Thorkildsen leading an all-out assault. A few breaks in the action add tension as Graham starts new verses, adding emphasis to what he sings before the band returns in full swing. “Defend” is the EP's anthem. At two minutes and forty-five seconds its quick repetition of hooks and a solo work their way into your brain almost immediately. It's also the shining moment where the aggression is turned outward: “I'm all out of pleasantries/for all my enemies/I've had it/You had your chance with this identity/Consider this our elegy.” It's a nice reprieve from the air of defeat that underscores most of the EP.
Overall it's a small taste of a forceful and thrashing style. If you're into mainstream metal acts then you already know what's at hand here, and I'm willing to bet you'll enjoy it.
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