Z-Lot-Z - Z-Lot-Z '92

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Molten Metal USA
Catalog Number: MM-99182
Format: CD
Total Time: 28:49:00

Z-Lot-Z's sound, beginning with the first track, is influenced by numerous metal artists, most specifically Queensryche, Judas Priest, Def Leppard, and Dream Theater. Dream Theater is obvious as they were making news and charts with Images And Words in 1991. This is all wrapped into one cohesive package called "The Shadow," where the guitars have the wavery, shimmery effect that John Petrucci used to great effect on Images.... "Shelter" sounds a lot like early Landmarq, when Damian Wilson fronted the band. Though vocalist Tom Calandra actually sounds like a mix of Wilson and James LaBrie, depending on the effect he's going for. Lyrically, it is quite heartfelt, taking soft approach to the sensitive subject of child abuse. Had this been able to make a mark in the wake of Nirvana, et. al., this certainly would have become an anthem for some children's organization or some MTV sponsored consciousness raising event. For me, this is the highlight of the ep. "In My Heart" has a classic 80s lite-metal sound -- Survivor is who came to mind first, but as I gave it more thought, Whitesnake also came to mind. And while this comparison won't connect with everyone, the music of the intro reminded me of Billy Joel's "All About Soul." Oh, this goes in an entirely different, heavier direction, but the guitar phrase that is strummed right at the beginning is quite similar (it repeats throughout the track, but is overshadowed by the main rhythm).

'92 is an retrospective ep, looking back at their debut material. The bonus track is "In My Heart," which wasn't finished time to be included on their 1999 album, Soul Existence. The music here is strongly in the melodic metal category, and is rather good. While there are markers that place it in the early nineties, it certainly doesn't sound dated. Which may seem contradictory, but what I mean is that doesn't have any embarrassingly dated markers. It's a solid metal effort, the arrangements are tight, the guitar leads impressive... While the band is ostensibly a quintet - bass, dual guitars, drums and vocals - there are additional musicians that help out and round out the sound, notably the keyboards of Mark Martinez.

An added bonus is a live performance video (for both Mac and PC) of "The Shadow." Though it had no effect on the sound, which was good, it seemed to play better in Windows Media Player than in Quicktime for Windows (your mileage may vary). They have got the stuff live, and their sound was quite good.

Though I am otherwise unfamiliar with the band, it was a good thing for them to resurrect this 'ep for the CD format (it was previously a cassette release). This is another band for you to check out.

The Shadow / Who's the Believer? / The Road To Nowhere / Lonely Is The Hunter / Shelter / In My Heart

Tom Calandra - vocals
Gregg Gill - guitar
Eric Halpern - guitar
Shane Dubose - bass
Van Eric Turner - drums

Z-Lot-Z '92 (ep) (1992/2000)
Tearing At Your Mind (1994/2003)
Soul Existence (1998)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin US

Added: October 26th 2001
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.z-lot-z.net
Hits: 1217
Language: english


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