ZERO VERDICT – Walk Tall (2015)
Featuring former members of Machina, King’s Ruin and Vermivore, ZERO VERDICT is a new band from Finland presenting their debut CD “Walk Tall“.
Zero Verdict’s music is inspired by classic metal / progressive rock acts, but their sound is really modern and commercial.
The exceptionally high level of musical ability is the first thing that becomes apparent on “Walk Tall”, their first E.P., though there is not the slightest trace of self-indulgence as is often the case with highly proficient musicians.
The second thing that impress in Zero Verdict is their greatly arranged harmony vocals. Yes, although the guitars are quite loud and take the center scene, the layers of harmonies are all over creating a quite original sound.
I said the six-string riffs are thick, but extremely clean and melodious.
And there’s another thing that made Zero Verdict’s sound really interesting; over their progressive rockin’ arrangements, the band throw-in some commercial, catchy poppy melodies.
Doing this, they are pretty awesome on “Lie (In My Own Life)”, “Alive”, “Train” (including heavy synths), and the really catchy “World Doesn’t Need A Hero (Like You)”.
Zero Verdict add a touch of modernity on “Delire Grandiose”, resulting in some kind of Dream Theater writing songs for the radio. You need to check this one to believe it. It works like a charm.
The band is also able to craft superb ballads like “Be On Your Way” (ala ’80s Queensryche), and the gentle, acoustically filled “Remembrance”.
Coming out from nowhere, Zero Verdict is one of the surprises of the year.
Their debut “Walk Tall” is some kind of a mix between Crimson Glory, ’80s Queensryche, Circus Maximus, Dream Theater and a dab of Zakk Wylde, yet all done in a very own and personal way.
All songs are really original and interesting all the way and despite the rhythmic complexity, the catchy hooks ensures instant appeal. The songwriting, by guitarist Tapio Mattila, is first class, with a verses / bridges that builds to the epic choruses with consummate craft. He also delivers taut, perfectly constructed guitar solos.
Most bands of this type find a limited audience, but Zero Verdict keep their progressive tendencies in check while succeed as simply heavy rock/pop songcrafters, commercial and potentially popular.
From the songwriting, to the musicianship, singing and production, there is nothing here that is not of the highest quality. If there’s any justice, Zero Verdict will become as massive as their sound.
Very, Highly Recommended.
01 – Alive
02 – Release Yourself
03 – Lie (In My Own Life)
04 – Be On Your Way
05 – Live Like No Tomorrow
06 – Train!
07 – World Doesn’t Need A Hero (Like You)
08 – Delire Grandiose
09 – My Misery
10 – Remembrance
Sami Huotari (vocals)
Tapio Mattila (guitars, backing vocals)
Juha Haipus (bass)
Pekka Leppäluoto (drums, percussion)
Jukka Tappola (guest keyboards)
BUY IT !