Zero Theorem – Ataraxis EP
Tunecore on ShimSham, LLC
Release Date: 04/05/2018
Running Time: 20:44
Review by Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King
Since I started on my reviewing journey, I have started to appreciate a few things when it comes to music. One is that you should never base your opinion of an album by the band’s name or the artwork (common sense really but it’s surprising how many bands could get discarded by a listener just because their name suggests an “alternative” genre.) The second is that, despite the music industry as a whole trying to pigeon hole bands into stereotypical genres, there are bands that just do not fall into one particular style.
Zero Theorem are a band that both statements apply to. I didn’t really know what to think when I first plugged my little USB stick into my car to listen to this album. Their name suggested to me either a very progressive band or a death metal one. Opposite ends of the spectrum I agree but Zero Theorem are neither of these.
Blending alternative hard rock with the rhythmic and uncompromising intensity of metal, these are a band that can cover a whole range of genres, having drawn early comparisons to the likes of Disturbed, Five Finger Death Punch and Tool.
Initially set up as a cross country collaboration between cousins, Caesar, who was based in Chicago, and Joe Scarlotti, based in Los Angeles, they began writing songs by sending digital files to each other. Caesar eventually relocated to Los Angeles to further his musical ambitions and the first Zero Theorem demos were recorded in 2017.
Through word of mouth and tireless networking in Los Angeles, the band came together with guitarist Max Georgiev, bassist Eloy Palacios and drummer Jake Hayden, and work began on turning the demos into finished songs, all production work carried out by Kane Churko (Papa Roach, Five Finger Death Punch, In This Moment) at The Hideout Recording Studios in Las Vegas.
The band soon gained notoriety as a live act by performing with Doyle, Hed PE, Art of Dying and Motograter, to name but a few, and since late 2017, the single “Area” has steadily climbed in the Active Rock radio charts, and even jumped into the top 35, as well as being featured on various key hard rock play lists.
So, what of the EP?
“The Zero Theorem sound is groove metal with big melodies and some progressive material mixed in. Heavy metal itself is a lifestyle choice and we strive to embody that with both substance and wit,” says vocalist Caesar. And I couldn’t agree more.
The EP begins with the explosive “Euthanasia”, a strong song to let us know just what we are to expect for the next twenty minutes. Or so we think!
First single “Area” is melodic and haunting, while fourth track “Rorschach” is heavy and abrasive, probably the heaviest on the EP.
Title track “Ataraxis” is slower-paced but just as well executed as any of the faster ones, and it is with this track that their similarity with the band Tool is noticeable. Time changes all over the place, Caesar’s dark and brooding voice, which makes him such a powerful frontman, easily comparable to that of Maynard James Keenan, lead vocalist with Tool.
This is an excellent and impressive debut. Its heavy yet melodic, with stomping riffs, and driving, bombastic grooves. They make not be the next best thing but they are certainly well on the way. If they continue to produce music of this quality and calibre then they could well be one of the top metal acts of the time.
This EP is only twenty minutes long but what a twenty minutes! I listened to this over and over and over and over again and never once got bored with it.
All I can say, is go grab yourself a copy and see for yourself just what this band can do.
Keep up the good work guys and I’ll see you at a gig in London sometime hopefully!!
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dawn “The Metal Priestess” King and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.