Jeff Loomis - Zero Order Phase review
|Album:||Zero Order Phase|
|Release date:||September 2008|
01. Shouting Fire At A Funeral
02. Opulent Maelstrom
03. Jato Unit [feat. Ron Jarzombek]
04. Azure Haze
05. Cashmere Shiv [feat. Neil Kernon & Michael Manring]
06. Race Against Disaster [feat. Pat O'Brien]
08. Devil Theory
09. Miles Of Machines
11. Omega's Influence [Japanese bonus]
Two Nevermore members had solo albums released this year, first one being Warrel Dane, the band's vocalist, and the second one Jeff Loomis, currently the band's only guitarist. While Warrel Dane experimented with the music, creating a Gothic album, Jeff pretty much remained faithful to the sound of his primary band, Nevermore. The sort of thrashy riffs and good and varied solos are still here on this instrumental CD called Zero Order Phase, which substantially reveals the versatile talent of Jeff Loomis.
He definitely knows what he is doing on this album, that's what I can tell after listening to this release, which has grown on me and even become native and dear. The music reminds me of Nevermore a lot; there are just no vocals, since it's an instrumental album. And since there are no vocals one has to make up for it through playing leads all the time, which Jeff Loomis does without getting the listener bored. Yes, this guy has enough riffs and solos to fill the whole 53 minutes of the album with them, and that's not an easy thing to do. What makes them interesting to listen to is the variety. We have slow, sentimental melodies with acoustic guitar on the background on "Azure Haze" or "Sacristy" next to speedy, technical, shredding leads with guest appearance Ron Jarzombek on "Jato Unit," and good combination of mellow and fast riffs/leads on different songs. As far as other guest appearances, Pat O'Brien of Cannibal Corpse shares solos with Jeff on "Cashmere Shiv," with the album's producer Neil Kernon playing a fretless guitar solo on the same song. As a result, this is not some stupid skill show-off, but, I guess, just a compilation of ideas that Jeff accumulated throughout the years because the songwriting is actually pretty good, and all these songs could have Warrel Dane or anybody else singing on them, but instead we have Jeff Loomis' guitar doing the "singing."
I can't say there is something original or mind-blowing about Zero Order Phase; it's just a good piece of instrumental music, which actually might take some time to get into. What it showed is that Jeff Loomis is one of the best contemporary guitar players, and he's got style. I don't really know whether Jeff Loomis showed everything he could with this album, though. Technique-wise, maybe. Songwriting-wise, probably not. The one thing that I can definitely say is that this side project has future, and if Jeff Loomis continues to create new works from time to time, we can expect some good metal. But for now, go back to Nevermore and record, which everybody is waiting for.
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