Zero Hour - A Fragile Mind
Sensory Records
Technical / Progressive Metal
9 songs (44'13)
Release year: 2005
Zero Hour, Sensory Records
Reviewed by Ben

A Fragile Mind has been finished musically for over a year now, however due to problems with the band’s original singer Erik Rosvold the vocals were never laid down until recently. Fred Marshall is the name of the man who has taken the helm of Zero Hour and he had some pretty big shoes to fill in the eyes of their fans. Fred’s voice has a more melodic feel than Erik’s but I do notice that he does not pull off the insanely complex vocal lines that his predecessor managed. The band opt to take a different route and utilize choruses and refrains that are surprisingly catchy and memorable. For a technical metal band of this caliber this is no easy feat to combine mind numbing musicianship and crowd pleasing hooks. The best example of this new vocal approach would be the third song Destiny Is Sorrow. Seemingly out of nowhere Fred assaults us with a passionate delivery of the chorus and I am taken aback by his strength.

Musically with A Fragile Mind, Zero Hour have taken a warmer approach to their sound than what was found on Towers Of Avarice. Unlike the previous album this release does not have the cold sterile feel that was so prevalent on Towers. The complexity of some songs have been reduced slightly which also adds to the slicker vibe that I get from some of the shorter tracks. Long time fans need not run to the hills screaming however because the title track is an eleven minute plus monster of technical bliss. The Tipton bros’ (Jason on guitars and Troy on bass) sweep, climb, and run all over the place with their respective instruments while Mike G. delivers drum fills that would cause Portnoy envy.

Zero Hour have already completed the songwriting for the next album hardly a few months after A Fragile Mind was released in September. While I am anxious to hear any new material from these guys I really hope that they let this record here have some of the limelight before putting out the next release. A Fragile Mind is a terrific album in two departments, great technical progressive metal and an upward moving evolution for the band. Kudos.

Killing Songs :
Destiny Is Sorrow, A Fragile Mind, Intrinsic
Ben quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Zero Hour that we have reviewed:
Zero Hour - Dark Deceiver reviewed by Marty and quoted 70 / 100
Zero Hour - Specs Of Pictures Burnt Beyond reviewed by Ken and quoted 95 / 100
Zero Hour - Metamorphosis reviewed by Ben and quoted 82 / 100
Zero Hour - The Towers of Avarice reviewed by Ben and quoted 85 / 100
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