BANG… ZERO HOUR is here for all humanity and out of Belgium, it has brought us one of the albums of the year. Belgium dark groove rockers Diablo Blvd have been making a name for themselves in Europe over the past years not only releasing a couple of albums but also touring with the likes of Machine Head, Epica and Life Of Agony – now they have set themselves to become a household name for fans of alternative music with Zero Hour… an album that truly deserves to be mentioned amongst the best of this year.
When you read through press notes you always see albums compared to other classic albums – rarely do the comparisons hold up when you actually listen to the album. With that in mind, I was pretty sceptical when I read that Zero Hour sounded like a mix of Type O Negative, Black Sabbath and Metallica – three of my favourite bands. But when you listen to this as an album you can hear the influence of those artists so easily, the driving pounding drums of Metallica, the raw rock edge of Black Sabbath and the ethereal alternative nature of Type O Negative.
There is no mucking around with Zero Hour, the opening track, ‘Animal,’ starts with some wonderful guitar strands before the amazing vocals of Alex Agnew come into play. Once you really start listening to the track it feels like it has a familiarity to it that makes it feel like it is a track that you have known and loved for years. Then comes ‘Sing From The Gallows’ which contains haunting guitar work from Andries Beckers and Tim Bekaert, and again it is a track that you fall in love with straight away.
‘Life Amounts To Nothing’ sees harsher vocals kick in from Agnew and it sounds amazing, then comes the smooth ‘God In The Machine’ before Diablo Blvd really find their sound with the rockier feel of ‘You Are All You Love.’ That hard rock sound continues with ’The Song Is Over’ which has ended up becoming one of my tracks of the year. There hasn’t been another band deliver a hard rock sound like this year at all.
Diablo Blvd shows their skill with the foreboding instrumental ‘00 00’ before another brilliant track – ‘Like Rats’ which contains the strong lyrics ‘we are all like rats… a plague. A thought provoking sentiment hidden in a track that is again made even better by some masterful guitar playing. That same fine musicianship from the band is again put on display during the long drawn out instrumental parts of ‘Demonize.’ Then comes ‘The Future Will Do As Its Told’ which sounds like something that only David Bowie could create before the album close with another fine track – ‘Summer Has Gone.’
‘Zero Hour’ is one of the surprise hits of 2017. This album has come from nowhere but is an instant classic. This amazing album is an album that every alternative music lover needs to discover as it is clearly one of the albums of the year.