Zero Hour - The Towers of Avarice


Not blessed, or merciful
Apr 11, 2001
Sarf Lundin, Innit
Zero Hour - The Towers of Avarice
Sensory - 2001
By Rodrigo


This is without a doubt the best "progressive metal" release of the year. The Towers of Avarice is a monumental masterpiece which combines the moody dark themes of Fates Warning with the technicality of Spiral Architect. At first listen, The Towers of Avarice was kind of a surprise. While Zero Hour still maintains their sound from their debut album, they have taken into another level that just shows how incredible they have grown as musicians. The double bass drumming of Mike Guy is out of this world; it is powerful, non-stop and the odd time beats are amazing. Troy Tipton’s bass molds perfectly with the drumming to create and a unique rhythmic section. Troy’s bass is focused quite often and the sound is heavy and up front. The guitar playing style of Jasun Tipton is excellent. The guitars are melodic, crunchy, and there are plenty of excellent leads. Finally, the singing of Erik Rosvold has improved dramatically. He shows incredible power, emotion and range.,

One of the biggest differences from The Towers of Avarice and their debut album is the fact that the keyboards that were present in the first album are basically gone, except in "The Ghosts of Dawn". This was a welcome surprise because we can hear more clearly the other instruments and marvel at what they are doing. Plus, the keyboards would not have fit with the overall dark musical and lyrical themes of The Towers of Avarice. The story is another excellent characteristic of this album. It is a futuristic tale telling the story of the greedy Towers who live in the surface and the people who live beneath the surface. It is an absolutely engrossing story that climaxes in a resounding fashion in the 15 minute epic "Demise and Vestige". I have no doubt that this song will be marked a "classic" in the progressive metal world. It must be heard and not described by me to fully appreciate its glory. All the songs in The Towers of Avarice are excellent (it kind of sucks there are only 6 songs) and unbelievable in their own right. The opening two and a half minutes of the title track are breathtaking. "Strategem" has some of the best bass lines and drumming you will ever hear, "The Subterranean" is characterized by its faster pace and "Reflections" and "The Ghosts of Dawn" are outstanding emotional pieces.

Actually, this will be one review where you will not find me describing and analyzing the songs. The reason is that I don’t want to spoil anything for you. This is one album that must be heard and not have me telling you everything about it. That would ruin the surprise for you. If my abundance of adjectives and my sheer excitement hasn’t convinced you that The Towers of Avarice is an album that everyone must buy, then something is terribly wrong with you. Zero Hour has clearly placed themselves as a progressive metal band to be reckoned with and I do not intend to miss them and neither should you.