Zero Mentality and Path of No Return…
Posted on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006 @ 11:15am » permalink
Zero Mentality is a German outfit and "In Fear of Forever" is their debut full-length, which was released awhile back by GSR Music. This album marks my first significant exposure to the band, as I had only heard a few sample mp3's from their demo (which was also released as a 7") a couple of years back. This is some relatively interesting metallic hardcore that goes back and forth from being way more metal than hardcore (without falling into the commonplace contemporary sound) and retaining its roots in the chugging 90's hardcore style (without coming across as all that "moshy" or anything). A definite sense of melody creeps in on occasion, but thankfully they rarely let that infiltrate the vocal performance, because those dry sneers are much stronger than the few bouts of near singing that pop up in a scarce few tracks. I especially like some of the atypical chord phrasings they're dealing with (check the last couple of minutes in "What I See"), and they seem to be drawing from a wide range of influences. Of course there's a token European sound happening that's comparable to a handful of other past/present bands (from Germany and Holland especially), but there are also some Integrity-esque leads and driving midpaced rhythms suggesting an underlying Clevo edge. Since some of the more straightforward tracks that kind of take a traditional metallic hardcore framework (in this case the NYHC style with a European flavor) and integrate some nice dissonance are among the finer moments of the disc, you could probably argue that some of the more diverse explorations are unnecessary, but I'll definitely be curious to hear future efforts from the band to see how they settle into their sound. Because I'm really into a lot of this material, and a few European bands have already taken this weird Cro-Mags-but-not base and turned it into something pretty hot, so…
Zero Mentality "Choose to Lose"
Zero Mentality "What I See"
Good stuff. Pick it up if you're into crunchy guitars and solid riffs:
@ Very Distribution
I had been meaning to check out this record for a long time but kept forgetting to buy it for some reason, so I was psyched when it finally showed up here a few weeks back. I went completely apeshit over Path of No Return's debut EP, which was some of the most brutal metallic hardcore I had ever heard from Sweden, and "Black Nights Coming", their first full-length jaunt (also on GSR Music), continues in that vein… though things have certainly taken a turn towards a more developed sound. For one thing, the vocals have a little more of a hoarse sneer to 'em, and instead of sticking with basic power chords and breakdowns they're taking some of those staccato rhythms and fusing them into a more metallic approach that flirts with a thrashy brand of melody that certainly has some Swedish flare to it, but does not in any way come across as that weedle-deedle melodic death metal bullshit. Nope, there's no tremolo picking here, folks. Things still tend to be thick and midpaced, it's just darker and more dissonant – like the Zero Mentality disc there are some really cool chord phrasings going on, so some of this stuff almost makes me envision Extol were they a much slower and less technically flashy band. I'm also digging some of the vocal arrangements because they really don't sound like the norm. When I first listened to this CD I was thinking that I kind of liked the over the top ferocity and complete mosh of that first EP a little better just because some of that shit was just so crushing it was unbelievable, but there's a lot to work with here, and it's really growing on me already. Once again I'm very curious to see where they take this. In a way this feels like a transitional moment compared to the EP, but they've managed to break into a more contemporary niche without sounding generic, and that's extremely hard to do at this point – especially within this particular genre.
Path of No Return "Black Nights Coming"
Path of No Return "Holocaust"
Why aren't there more bands of this nature in Sweden? Go figure. If the tunes do the trick, buy a copy for yourself:
@ Very Distribution