Zero Verdict is a progressive rock/metal band from Oulu, Finland. Founded in 2013, the band includes members from such acts as Myon, Vermivore, Machina and King’s Ruin. The band’s first EP entitled “Clarity”, is released in digital format on Bandcamp and Reverbnation.
Zero Verdict is Tapio Mattila – Guitar, Sami Huotari – Vocals and Juha Haipus – Bass. These guys can make you scream, shout and rock one moment, and then the next make you contemplate the meaning behind their songs. Zero Verdict can play, they can create, and they can make you step into another world, even though you never even have to leave your room.
Zero Verdict concentrates mostly on heavy, groove-laden hard rock riffs underscored by thumping bass lines. Their music is ambitious, adventurous compositions, with multiple time changes in the mix. The tracks on “Clarity” offer those elements in abundance, displaying the wide range of abilities typical of a hard rock band with the skill set of Zero Verdict.
My initial reaction about the musicianship was that it is stellar. Juha Haipus’ bass playing is phenomenal and Tapio Mattila incorporates new ideas, textures and sounds that beautifully and powerfully color the band’s overall sound. Sami Huotari’s vocals, on the other hand, sound incredible. His clean, clear, nuanced, melodic singing complements the music perfectly, while the sheer power resonates loudly above the layered orchestrations.
The songs are all intense, hard-rocking and filled with technical soul. From The Perfect White Lie, Alone, and Lost in a Haze to Clarity, this Ep is a continuous, contiguous, and coherent. And even though the music is dense and layered, the melodies are easily recognizable. The music of Zero Verdict is complex yet simple, deep yet accessible. It can be dark and heavy, as well as spacious and airy. It is simply a rock symphony of three.
It’s all here, complex compositions, unpredictable arrangements, and tons of superb playing with guitar, bass and drum breakdowns all over the place. The standout songs which epitomize all these traits have to be the title track “Clarity” and “Lost in a Haze”. They are tightly written, the instrumental prowess is impressive, and the vocals explore a vast palette of emotions.
The true function of musical art is the ability of the artist to illicit an emotional response from the listener, while the degree of that response determines the magnitude of the artist’s talent. In this regard, Zero Verdict succeeds totally with “Clarity”.
If you’re looking for thoughtless, loud rock and roll, this is not for you. If, however you seek some great lyrical themes set to powerful music that will shake the foundations, somewhere between Rush, The Scorpions and Yes, then this will thoroughly entertain and engage you.
“Clarity” is a solid piece of work that Zero Verdict can be truly proud of!