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ZARIA...'Po poti življenja'

(Self Release) Reviewed 17th Feb 2015

Zaria is driven by the desire to create original music, and was founded in 2011. Inez (Vox), Nika (drums), Miha (rhythm guitar), Jakob (lead guitar), Rok (bass) and Gašper (keys) completed the final line-up in 2012. Although their initial musical style most closely resembled folk metal, they would eventually turn to other genres for inspiration as well. This is the Slovenian band's debut release and it is rather good. Sung in the band's native tongue, opening with the title track, 'Po poti življenja' (Upon the Trail of Life) is a brief instrumental intro followed by 'Glas srca' (A Voice from Within) which has a Folky feel but generally is a Nightwish influenced Symphonic rocker. So far so good! 'Divja jaga' (Wild Hunt) starts with the sounds of Ravens and is a quirky Folk Metal number featuring male vocals as well as those of Inez, magical! 'Spomin tisočerih dni' (A Memory of a Thousand Days) is another catchy folky number that kicks off with the sound of another bird, the cuckoo! 'Temnina' (Darkness) has a drum intro (no birds this time) before the guitars and flutes kick in, and is a pounding rockin number. 'Nov začetek' (A New Beginning) follows and maintains the quirkyness as does 'Pozabljeni svet' (A Forgotten World), a track that has that Nightwish feel. 'Moč brez imena' (A Nameless Power) again features male vocals while the closing trio of the punchy 'Na odprto morje' (To the Open Sea), 'Sledi zvezdi' (Follow the Star), one of my faves from the cd and the instrumental 'Spev zmagoslavja' (A Song of Triumph) maintain the awesome quality of this recording. I have listed every track including translations, but please do not be put off by the fact that this is sung in the band's native tongue as this is very good. I am not sure how easy it will be to get the album, but the band's website is here.. 8.75/10 (The Nugget)

ZEPHRYA..'BEHAVE' (Demo)

(Self Release) Reviewed 28th August 2010

Zephyra (meaning "West Wind" so Ravenheart Aimee tells me) is a Swedish Metalband. They was formed in the late summer of 2009 with just three members including vocalist Asa Netterbrant, and have now progressed to a five piece. 'Behave' is their second demo consisting of 6 tracks of metal coupled with progressive elements. This is the kinda music that may not grab you right away, but on repeated listens slowly works it's magic into your system. I think if this band work on their style and keep at it, they can release a good debut full length offering. One more thing I will add, their image may suggest a Punk Rock style, far from it, this is what I call thinking person's metal. Check them out at www.myspace.com/zephyrametal. Not bad, not bad at all..8/10 (Reviewed by Dave)

ZEPHYRA...'FIRST BLOOD' EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 7th June 2012

I reviewed a six track demo by this hard working Swedish band back in August 2010, and I seem to recall that I was suitably impressed with what I heard then, with the seeds being sown for even better to come from these musicians. I would like to say that I am now further impressed with this latest offering from this band. 'First Blood' sees Zephyra (formed in 2009) move forward in leaps and bounds, with the vocals of leading lady Åsa Netterbrant very versatile. She proves that not only can she growl like a demented monster, but she can also sing like a sweet angel too - totally awesome! Their previous EP had a subtle progressive vibe running through it, but this five track offering takes on an altogether heavier direction, and I think that is a good move from the band's point of view. Opener 'Undone' kicks things off on a heavy and rather bombastic note, with Asa showcasing the more aggressive side of her vocal style, but next up the awesome 'Loyalty' then shows us the angelic side of Asa's vocal approach! 'Are You Really Blessed' is a mid tempo melodic thumper with a subtle progressive undercurrent, while 'Inside Revealed' slows it down a touch, a great number. There is also an acoustic version of the aforementioned 'Are You Really Blessed' that closes this cd. To summarise, Zephyra offer up melancholic progressive riffs, with really heavy parts, coupled with melodic and occasional catchy choruses. This is good and worthy of one's attention, and I reckon a band well worth seeing live too. Their Facebook is here....8.75/10 (Dave)

ZEPHRYA...'KAMPAGLOD' EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 26th February 2013

Zephrya hail from Sweden, and this is another offering sent my way by the band, and I must say that I am falling in love with these guys and gal. With influences widely spread from Slayer and early Metallica to Evergrey, Dark Tranquility and Iced Earth, the band has created to my ears quite a unique sound. If you are expecting Gothy Operatics, then this will not be your cuppa tea, but the band do offer up some Melodic Thrashy Metal, with a progressive undercurrent occasionally making it's way to the surface. Lead Growler/Vocalist Asa Netterbrant certainly proves she is no person to be messed with, but there again, she has the versatility to swich from growls to clean vocals at the flick of a switch. Tony Netterbrant provides the male vocals on a release that is rather impressive. There are six numbers to sink your teeth into, with opener 'Route 611' kicking off proceedings, showcasing the versatility that is shown within the vocal department. 'Forced Family' is next up, and vocally on this song, Asa reminds me in her less aggressive moments of Summer from the UK band Vampyre Heart. 'Pessimist' and 'Release My Anger' continue the attack on the senses, and then comes my fave from the EP - 'Imprisoned Queen' with it's catchy chorus is rather good, and I would imagine could be a live favourite with those in the mosh pit. The EP closes with the instrumental Kämpaglöd. If you like your metal Thrashy and aggressive but still maintaining a sense of melody with subtle use of keys, this may be right up your alley way. www.zephyra.net/Official/home is the band's website... 8.5/10 (Dave)

ZEPHYRA...'MENTAL ABSOLUTION'

(WormholeDeath Records) Reveiwed 25th July 2014

Zephyra come from Scandinavia, no surprises there eh? Well, Sweden to be precise, and the band play no thrills melodic metal. The various influences of the band are taken from thrash, power and melodic death metal, with Asa Netterbrant coughing up the female growls and clean vocals. I first came across Asa and guitarist Tony who are such nice people in 2010, when I reviewed Zephyra's 'Behave' demo and then they followed that up with the 'First Blood' EP. Indeed, since 2010 I have seen the band and their music mature like a good wine and then..... after having reviewed their 'Kampaglod' EP along comes WormholeDeath Records who have signed the band. And the result of that is this rather good record featuring 11 tracks of in yer face metal. Melody is always bubbling under the surface, emerging many times like a hungry demented shark to grab the listener by the short and curlies. I am not going into track detail here but if you like Metal with clean and growly vocals, with loadsa melody thrown into the mix for good measure, may I offer you a word of advice, buy this when it gets released. Support good music, this band deserves it. Their Facebook is here..... 9/10 (Dave)

ZOCALO...'SUNRISE'

(Self Release) Reviewed 11th June 2012

After 10 years of pounding around pubs and clubs all over the country, Zocalo are finally releasing thier debut album 'Sunrise'. Basically we have thundering Southern grooves at their finest, a hard grooving, heavy-blues based band where the riff is king. Fronted by Sarah Humphries, this band from SE England know how to produce a bunch of foot stomping tunes. No operatic or gothic meanderings here, just pure pulsating undliluted hard rock, from the stirring opener 'Swimming Against The Tide' to the closer and title track 'Sunrise'. 'Carved From Stone' slows it down with a strong taste of the Blues with awesome vocals from frontlady Sarah. This is a well produced effort from this band, the musicianship overall is excellent and the cd is well worth checking out as a consequence. Their Facebook is here - the album is well recommended! 8.5/10 (Dave)

ZOE ANN...2012 EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 8th May 2013

Zoe Ann, an award winning rock/pop, singer/songwriter/musician from Dallas, has dominated many indie charts over the past three years and continues breaking chart records. She has a consistently growing fan base, in the U.S. and abroad, and a rapidly growing repertoire of radio friendly music. This EP is her 2012 release and consists of three rockin radio friendly Pop/Rock tunes that will rock ya sox off and have you demanding more! And the girl can belt out a ballad too, 'Wake me Up' is being helped to raise money for the documentary "Battlefield of the Mind", which exposes the problem with war Vets and the issues with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, among other problems they face when arriving home. This is good stuff in the style of Paramore, Avril Lavigne and the like, and is well worth checking out HERE. .. 8/10 (Dave)

ZOE SCHWARZ BLUE COMMOTION...'GOOD TIMES'

(33 Records) Reviewed 28th November 2012

Wanna taste of the Blues? How about giving Zoe Schwarz Blue Commotion a listen? 14 tracks of music to send fans of the Blues all into a dither. The band is a UK based six piece, drawing upon the melting pot of popular music past and present. I must admit myself that I am not a total fan of blues music, but I can tell upon listening to this record, that there are some good tunes here. Listen to 'Fine and Mellow' as one example. The hammond organ is to be heard in all it's splendour throughout the album, plus the good old harmonica - great stuff. And the vocals of Bournemouth based Zoe - awesome! For all you Blues fans out there, check them out here! 8/10 (Dave)

ZOLTAR SPEAKS..'TREATMENT' EP

(Self Release) Reviewed 23rd January 2012

5 piece band Zoltar Speaks hail from the West Country, a part of the UK that is very familiar to me. Fronted by the powerful vocal style of Louise Body, this Somerset based band pump out 4 hard rocking tracks on this EP, with loadsa melody thrown into the mix for good measure. The aforementioned high octane vocals of Louise kick ass, and that is suited to the type of music the band indulges in. 'A Metaphor' kicks things off and comes blasting out of the speakers like a turbo charged rhino. A very melodic chorus to boot as well. The pace continues with 'How Could You Blame' with yet another melodic chorus - great stuff! 'The Best Revenge' refuses to let up, while closer 'Treatment' slows it up a bit, and could well become a live favourite I think. Check the band out here, as this is Melodic Metal that packs a punch, and is recommended. 8.25/10 (Dave)

ZOLTAR SPEAKS...'SAVE AS I SAVE'

(Self Release) Reviewed 23rd September 2013

Somerset (UK) based Zoltar Speaks released a rather good EP some months ago now, and that was a hard rockin' affair to confirm that the west country here in England is not only good at producing cider, there are some decent rock and metal bands down there too. And the awesome work of the band is carried over to this, their debut full length release. Fronted by the awesome powerhouse of Louise Body, the album kicks off with a piano led intro, that leads into the number 'See You In Another Life' - a heavy thundering number proving that this band means business. And they power their way through further bombastic tunes like 'Last Man Standing', 'Cannot Be', the thumping metallic 'Face The Claymore', 'Nothing In The World' and the 8+ minute epic 'I Can I Can't'. And there is a sensitive side to the band as well with the songs 'Braver' and 'Treatment' (Treatment being featured on the EP). Throughout the album, Louise is ably backed up by Ollie Smith and Jason Coles (guitars), Simon Roocroft on bass and Ben Dean supplying thunderous beats, confirming that Zoltar Speaks is a powerhouse melodic metal unit that are well worth checking out, so check them out HERE, then buy the album that is due in November... 8.5/10 (Dave)

ZOMBIE RODEO..PROMO EP

(Self Released) Reviewed 6th April 2012

Zombie Rodeo fronted by Tiina, is a Helsinki-based rock band formed in 2010. This is their first promo cd, which emerged in October 2011. We have three groovy songs on this Ep which exibit stoner rock influences. Opener 'Blind-eye Blues exibits those aforementioned influences but with a catchy chorus to boot. 'You Shake My 8 Ball Wrong' is track number 2 and I am beginning to feel that Zombie Rodeo would rock out live! Rather good! Closer 'Ajo' is a thumping instrumental. Here you will find their Facebook page. Good foot stomping stuff! 8.25/10 (Dave)

ZOMBIE RODEO...PROMO EP

(Self Released) Reviewed 31st October 2012

Zombie Rodeo fronted by Tiina is a Helsinki-based rock band, whose first promo came out in October 2011. Since then, the band has been going through some changes, but their second promo came out September 2012, including three new songs offering up a more straightforward, gritty sound, and this can be heard quite simply in the three tracks on offer here. No Gothic or Operatic shenanigans on this promo, just balls to the wall rock! 'Stuck UP' kicks things off and immediately tells you what path this band is treading. 'In Love With The Dead' will knock you back against the aforementioned wall, while 'Follow Confusion' offers no let up. This is gritty hard rock with attitude a plenty, so go check them out and find out for yourself here. 8/10 (Dave)

ZOMBIE RODEO...' Día de los Muertos'

(Self Released) Reviewed 12th Feb 2015

Zombie Rodeo come from Finland and we have already reviewed some of their music here at Ravenheart Music. Indeed, some of these tracks we may have come across before by way of promo discs, but Dave has asked me to review this nonetheless. What we have here are five tracks of grunge influenced music on this little cd - you know the score, downtuned guitars and the like. Awesome vocals from Tina coupled with some pounding music to boot! Indeed, not really the kind of music I have come to expect from the likes of a country like Finland, but it is that scenario that makes this music so good. My fave track is 'Eyes Open', a rocking tune with a great chorus. Great stuff and one can check it out for themselves here...8.25/10 (The Nugget)