Specs of Pictures Burnt Beyond
12/8/2006 - Review by: Veritas
Zero Hour - Specs of Pictures Burnt Beyond - 2006 - Sensory Records
The main driving force behind Zero Hour is guitarist/keyboardist Jasun Tipton, who writes the majority of the music. “Specs of Pictures Burnt Beyond” is definitely a positive progression for Tipton’s writing, as he does a very good job of integrating various parts that would otherwise be disparate from each other. Fast riffs blend well with slower interludes, as do many of the catchy choruses and crunchier bridges. Songs like “Face the Fear” and “Specs of Pictures Burnt Beyond” do an especially good job of synthesizing different parts and keeping the listener interested throughout. “I Am Here” is another solid track, although it’s a slower, ballad-ish progressive song reminiscent of Dream Theater’s “Wait for Sleep.” The rest of the album’s seven tracks are all pretty solid, but they don’t stand out as much as the aforementioned three.
Overall, “Specs of Pictures Burnt Beyond” is a technically well-executed album that draws few objective complaints. Subjectively, however, Zero Hour aren’t especially appealing when there are bands like Redemption and Symphony X out there playing the same exact style with much better results. I believe Zero Hour’s problems stem from an overall lack of energy and emotion in most of their songs. Although these attributes are not easy to gauge, it is apparent that Chris Salinas lacks the unbridled power of a Russell Allen, and that Jasun Tipton isn’t writing at the same creative level as a Nick Van Dyk or a John Petrucci. Either way, “Specs” is still a pretty good album and prog-heads out there would do well to pick this album up.
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