Zero Order Phase Review

artist: Jeff Loomis date: 03/19/2009 category: compact discs
Jeff Loomis: Zero Order Phase
Released: Sep 30, 2008
Genre: Heavy Metal, Instrumental Rock
Label: Century Media
Number Of Tracks: 10
The album was recorded at Robert Lang Studios in Richmond Beach, Washington and was produced and mixed by Neil Kernon (Nevermore, Cannibal Corpse, Deicide).
 Sound: 8.5
 Lyrics: 6
 Overall Impression: 8.3
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (4) 29 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9.3
Zero Order Phase Reviewed by: Abbott, on october 06, 2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Jeff Loomis has a very unique voice in the metal community, his blistering leads and his brutal riffs will be stuck in your head for quite a while. This album is a instrumental, and it will definitely go into the vault with some of the best shred records known to date. Jeff is a huge Jason Becker and Marty Friedman fan, and this album proves it. This Album Features: Jeff Loomis - guitar. Mark Arrington - drums. Ron Jarzombek - guitar solo on "Jato Unit". Pat O'Brien - guitar solo on "Race Against Disaster". Michael Manring - bass on "Cashmere Shiv". Neil Kernon - producer, fretless guitar solo on "Cashmere Shiv". // 9

Lyrics: There are no lyrics, this is a instrumental album. I'll list the track listings here: 01. "Shouting Fire at a Funeral" - 4:54 02. "Opulent Maelstrom" - 6:07 03. "Jato Unit" - 4:41 04. "Azure Haze" - 4:59 05. "Cashmere Shiv" - 6:16 06. "Race Against Disaster" - 6:13 07. "Sacristy" - 4:50 08. "Devil Theory" - 6:16 09. "Miles of Machines" - 5:45 10. "Departure" - 3:56 // 10

Overall Impression: This album will certainly run along Jason Becker's Perpetual Burn, Yngwie J. Malmsteen's Rising Force, Vinnie Moore's Mind's Eye, and the rest of those mind blowing shred records that are still being praised today. Like I mentioned earlier, Jeff is a huge fan of Jason Becker and Marty Friedman, and you can definitely hear that in his phrasing, bends, vibrato, and a bit of his licks. You can also hear heavy influences of Tony MacAlpine and Yngwie Malmsteen. It's not easy to say the most impressive song on the album, a lot of them are very similar, but yet so different. You have 'Miles Of Machines', which is no doubt Jeff's shining glory to show all the players that he will be remembered as one of the top dogs in the shred community, you also have 'Cashmere shiv', and 'Sacristy' which go in a more exotic direction. If you are familiar with any of Nevermore's catalog, you'll definitely hear some Nevermore sounding riffs. The thing I love about this album, is that it's a shred album that was desperately needed in today's guitar community, and fans of Jeff Loomis have been waiting a long time for him to release some sort of solo record. With that being said, this album is not perfect, my biggest complaint is that a bit of the times, it will seem like some songs are being dragged out, and some riffs don't fit in certain places, and the drums could sound more "realistic". If you are a fan of shred, I recommend checking this out. A fan of Jason Becker's playing, check it out, Marty Friedman, Yngwie Malmsteen, Tony MacAlpine, check this guy out. If you're not a fan of Nevermore, I still suggest giving this a try, the riffs and leads in this album are straight forward metal. If you're not a fan of shred, or aggressive metal, then this album is definitely not for you. // 9

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overall: 7
Zero Order Phase Reviewed by: wareuph, on january 22, 2009
2 of 4 people found this review helpful

Sound: Jeff Loomis knows his way around a guitar. And a studio. This CD has crystal clear production, so all the instruments shine through. From chugging grindcore guitars, to nimble thrash riffs, and all the gem-like luster of high speed guitar shredding this CD sounds amazing. Though I've heard people say the drums sound a little too "organic" I would have to beg to differ. To me they sound a little too mechanical, too perfect. That's not a legitimate complaint, just my opinion of what a drum sound should be. Musically, this CD covers a lot of stylistic territory ... within the metal genre of course. Neoclassical guitar scaling, hardcore breakdowns, and arpeggiated clean passages are commonplace often all within a single song. But whats most prevalent here is that this is a METAL instrumental album. Instrumetal if you will. The songs vary in tempo from light speed to land sloth and everything in between, but the dark haunting Jeff Loomis style of writing dominates every single note. Somehow he managed to make the standard guitar shred CD a musical piece of art. This album is as enjoyable to listen to as any Nevermore album or any comparable works. There are no lyrics, but the voice-like quality of his guitar tone coupled with great songwriting and solos make these songs just as expressive as anything Nevermore or any metal band have done for that matter. This is a Metal album - there's just no vocals. Incredibly well done. // 10

Lyrics: Unfortunately there are no lyrical accompaniments to go with his sublime music. This is a guitar solo album so it's not exactly a deficiency. I would have liked to know if there was a story behind the interesting song names like "Miles of Machines." No vocals usually equals no lyrics so I can't dock points off the CD for that. // 1

Overall Impression: Jeff Loomis has somehow made a guitar solo CD that is as fun to listen to as puzzle over it's seemingly infinite guitar mastery. If your a fan of Nevermore, or Metal, or just music period you will find something to enjoy in this stellar CD. I love every single song on this album, and have no complaints what'soever. The guitar work is almost arguably inhuman in it's virtuosity, the production is modern and clear, and the album is written brilliantly with a comfortable pace throughout. There are so many "Oh sh*t!" moments it's like a roller coaster ride of guitar pyrotechnics. Like 6 flags for guitar nuts. Overall I would have to say my favorite part of this CD is it's patient, well thought out pace. Each song is complimentary to the track before and after it, and each song takes a breath when it needs to. it's not all flash until it gets tiring. This guy has infinite chops, but more importantly he knows the true value of dynamic contrast. For every breath stealing moment, there's a clean passage or even an old-fashioned fretless guitar solo. Perfect album, my dream union between brutal metal and demi-god guitar work. The icing on the cake? The cookie monsters and / or demons with bronchitis weren't invited to this party! // 10

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overall: 10
Zero Order Phase Reviewed by: dave1Mustaine, on october 07, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Unbelievable! That's the best way to describe this whole album. There is not one song that is not an epic song front to back. This album is by the the best instrumental guitar album front to back with each song being just as badass one after another. His guitar tones are outstanding and flawless. And on top of this album has amazing drums with it, very technical. This album is not all shred like some would think but actually more Riff and melody line based but don't get me wrong there is plenty of shred. A most have for any guitarist Jeff Loomis's unique style would make any guitarist want to throw in the towel this album is just simply amazing! On top of that Jeff Loomis must be the most interesting guitarist I have ever heard. // 10

Lyrics: Who needs lyrics with this album? The guitar melody's are equivalent to a vocalist, they have so much emotions and expressions, you can completely feel his emotions through his guitar on this album every song is an epic journey. And it is not all shred like some of these instrumentals it's very understandable and you know exactly what is coming out of his guitar. // 10

Overall Impression: This album has it all and personally gives me goosebumps to every song I listen to and I honestly cannot see any guitarist not liking this album period. The album is amazing from the sweet into of the first song to the amazing chord choice interlude of the last song please people I urge you to listen to this album it will inspire you trust me no other instrumental album is quite like this and it has perfect song structure unlike most instrumentals. This is worth every penny! // 10

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overall: 4
Zero Order Phase Reviewed by: Magero, on march 19, 2009
1 of 9 people found this review helpful

Sound: Let me just start off by saying that I'm a huge Nevermore fan. They've been one of my favourite band's ever since I first picked up "This Godless Endeavor" in 2005. The combination of Jeff Loomis' amazing riffs, Van William's inventive drumming, Jim Sheppard's solid basswork, Steve Smyth's creative chord work and aintense vocals just made that album stick in my mind for so long. The band just knew how to write such epic songs. With all that in mind, this is what makes this album both interesting, and boring as watching paint dry. Jeff Loomis' first solo attempt enforces the utter and total power of Jeff Loomis, but also how much of a one trick pony he really is. When you listen to great solo albums (or even just instrumentals), the music should feel like it has vocals. The riffs should speak for themselves. It should never feel like it needs vocals, but that's exactly what Zero Order Phase feels like. It just feels like an incomplete Nevermore album. Don't get me wrong, Jeff shreds. Oh boy, does he ever shred. He shreds all over the place on this album, but that's all he does. He seems to have written an album made 2 or 3 riffs a song, and then tacked pointless shredding over the top. I think this album just proves how much Jeff needs the rest of Nevermore. Also, without space for vocals, he seems to have lost a bit of momentum with structure as some of the songs just downright don't work in the structure they're in. "Opulent Maelstrom" being a key example. Jeff Loomis is indeed a magnificent guitarist, but without Warrel, Jim, and Van behind him, that's all he is. A guitarist without a purpose. // 5

Lyrics: As an instrumental album, obviously there are no lyrics. That being said, as I pointed out earlier, a truly well written isntrumental album shouldn't feel like it needs vocals and this album does. It feels like one huge solo section from a Nevermore song. And in small doses, Jeff Loomis is possibly one of the guitarists in the world, but left to his own devices he just feels like another shredder with a 7-string. // 3

Overall Impression: I feel really bad, being so harsh on someone I idolise, but in all honesty, as someone who loves every single Nevermore song written to this day, I didn't enjoy this album at all. There are so many moments that are just perfect, and then they just disappear into a midst of shredding. So many sections where I expected Warrel to ascend through the mire and scream for salvation to the heavens, and instead I got some dork wanking the Harmonic Minor scale until it bled. The funny thing is, the best track on this album, "Miles of Machines", is the best track simply because it makes no pretences of being a song. It's just Jeff Loomis sweeping for no reason, over an awesome background. If the song was 2 minutes shorter, it would fit amazingly as an instrumental piece on a Nevermore album, or even a section in a bigger, longer full Nevermore song. All I can really say in summation is that the wait for Nevermore's next album really seems so much longer after this stumbling mess. // 4

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