Man, I’m not even sure what I should say about ZERO DOWN. The Seattle band has just released album number four, No Limit to the Evil via Minotauro Records and to be honest I didn’t even know they had three records out prior. I guess you can classify these guys as a blend of NWOBHM with some early JUDAS PRIEST in the mix. Either way, it’s good, but not great. I guess I was looking for something more. I’m not here to tear these guys down, but there just isn’t a lot to hook me here.
“Steve McQueen” was one that hooked me right away, though. It’s got a nice groove, thick and chunky riffs, and sounds like it was born on a turntable. Album closer “Black Rhino” was another interesting number, as was opener “Return of the Godz” (despite that ‘Z’ at the end…oy). Both have a good rhythm that would make you come back for more. “No Limit to the Evil” is also one of the better tracks this album has to offer with a sound steeped in yesteryear.
The best song on the record though has to be “Cold Winters Night”. It charges at a gallop and begs to be blared out of a ‘79 or ‘81 Trans Am or Firebird with the wind blowing the feathered hair back while driving. On the other side of that coin I wasn’t too impressed with “Devils Thorn” or “Suicide Girls”. They didn’t suck, but there wasn’t any hook there for me to get into. Flip-flopping once again “Leche di Tigre” (‘Da fuck?!? I know…) takes us into DIO-era BLACK SABBATH and the results are nothing short of glorious! Same goes for “Phantom Host’ which is just fast, fast, fast.
We’re back in a dead zone for “Two Ton Hammer” which did zero to keep my interest. And that’s the thing with this record, it’s all hills and valleys. When it’s good, it’s really good, and when it’s bad it’s dull and boring as fuck. ZERO DOWN are really good at paying homage to their influences, but at the same time they tend to get bogged down in sound-alike territory sometimes. Overall I found more to like than dislike on No Limit to the Evil, but at the same time it won’t be bumping anything out of the rotation anytime soon.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Cold Winters Night”, “Phantom Host”, “Leche di Tigre”, “Steve McQueen”, “No Limit to the Evil”