Formed in 2009, Zeroasis features Tampa Bay area musicians Ripper X (aka Larry Beier) on vocals and Dan Pocengal on guitars, both former mates in local band Dreamzfate, with Chris Strayer (Type O Negative, Sisters of Mercy, Ely) on keyboards. The band hired Mark Zonder (Fates Warning) on drums and Mitch Stewart (Circle II Circle) on bass to complete the recordings. The principal trio of players intent was a melodic progressive power metal band akin to Kamelot, Pyramaze, and Lanfear, among others. What resulted was X-factor, essentially a one-off project, as the three founders have already moved to other projects.
X-factor is a substantial offering in the sense that there's a lot of ambition and music, 10 tracks at over 60 minutes, here. The band's goal of progressive power metal is essentially fulfilled as well. However, while there's some crispness to the mix, clarity to the individual instruments, there still seems something amiss. Mostly it's Ripper X's vocal arrangements which, rather than being fluid and complimentary to the composition, sound somewhere between forced and complicated. Sometimes he simply sounds out of context. Other times the songs sound as if they were recorded in haste, with the individual parts patched together like a quilt. Nevertheless, there is something intriguing and entertaining about what's hear; enough to make you wonder what would have happened under better circumstances or on a second album. Top tracks: Tormentia, Red Rain, At the Worlds End.
An essentially one-off project, Zeroasis's X-factor offers an intriguing and entertaining, if only a little flawed, album of progressive power metal.
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