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Bearing a striking resemblance to Annihilator's "Set the World on Fire" at times, Eidolon's debut album has some great thrash moments but is overrun with mediocrity for most of the album despite attempts at being an amazing debut. It's definitely not a bad album by any means - and it is a thrash precursor to their more progressive style they came later to have. It's a solid album on its own but there are no exciting or intense tracks that jump out and snag the listener.
The album has some great melodic thrash metal guitar work. Being the strongest part of the album, the guitars definitely steal the show and take you for a ride. The riffing is complex and catchy and will have most headbangers asking for more. The leads well played with plenty of quick fret work and great melodic writing that keeps the pace of the music. The solos are good but one can tell it's a young band and the art of soloing hasn't quite come to them. Some of the solos seem a tad off with the direction of the song. Some slow melodic sections grace the years and give a variety to the music. The track, "In Memory" has a wonderful and emotive beginning before cranking into a heavy laden riff that takes us into the rest of the song. This tells us that Eidolon does have some good writing abilities but sadly they aren't fully explored on Zero Hour.
The bass is pretty heavy on the album and can easily be picked out from the rest of the music. Personally, I find this a nice touch that the band isn't afraid to "mix out the bass" or try to have the bass player just follow along with the guitar parts. The bass isn't anything too special and in the end ends up following a lot of the good riffs but keeps a time when the solos or larger leads come into play.
The drums are simple but effective. Knowing this is Shawn Drover really disappoints because the man is a very skilled drummer and he never really struts his stuff on any of the material. I am a fan of "play for the music" and the drums do fit the style of the album quite well and are mostly a rhythm keeper for the music being played. He does have a great variety with some good speedy tracks with lots of bass (Blood Rain) as opposed to his usual 1-2 pack he does on much of the album. He does have his moments at times like on "Eye of the Storm".
The vocals are good and fit...but they definately are nothing great. He does the job and gets it done but there really isn't any flair to the performance on the album. He doesn't sound like he really cares. He also has his moments (like most of the album there are moments but never consistencies) and he can hit a high note every once in a while but really most of the best tracks are the instrumentals. His higher range does reflect the era of 80s thrash but he really has trouble flowing with the band most of the time.
Overall it's a pretty good debut from Eidolon. Knowing where they go from this point makes one understand the good qualities of the album but in the end it's pretty lackluster compared to their other albums. For fans of Eidolon and some good classic melodic thrash.
Songs to check out: Eye of the Storm, Zero Hour, When Will This End.