Zero Illusions comes out of Gothenburg Sweden with their third release Oblivion. While the area is known for its variations of black metal, don't expect any such thing from this band. This is traditional heavy metal, melodic with a touch of European power metal. Oblivion was produced by Andy LaRocque (King Diamond, Evergrey).
With their straight heavy/power metal style, which never really lets up, Zero Illusions offers a strong groove, often with very catchy hooks. Alive, Who You Are, Honesty, and Oblivion rumble along with a sound that allows both headbanging and toe-tapping. Who You Are develops over the strong foundation of Tomas Reinerson on bass and Andre Holmqvist on drums. Honesty swells with a melodic side near Judas Priest, but heavier, and echoes long after its over thanks to catchy chorus.
Other songs offer interesting variety. Rise to the Challenge has a blistering power metal pace with a thrilling guitar solo. (The guitar solos are also stand out features throughout this work.) Both Son of the Devil and Call of Duty strike the chord of traditional, steady, heavy metal. The latter is the closest thing to a slow piece, but it's hardly a metal ballad.
Mostly, Oblivion is driving and intense heavy metal tempered by its melodic lines and clever hooks. The album rounds out with this familiar motif with Follow the Sign and Enemy Within notable examples. If there are any drawbacks here, it may be in that very consistent heaviness. If you miss the melodic nuances and those catchy angles, Oblivion will simply move along as persistent but unremarkable metal. It's not. It's quite good. Recommended.
Zero Illusions' third release Oblivion finds the band staying the course of melodic heavy metal, but with a renewed sense of intensity. Yet, the melodic lines and clever hooks remain.
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