Survivors Zero
CMXCIX

Finland’s Survivors Zero collects members from Deathchain, The Scourger and Finntroll for a modern metal / brutal death metal hybrid, where groove meets wailing guitars. I have to admit, I haven’t been following the death metal world too closely during the past couple of years, but to me the Zero represents a style that was more in the limelight at the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century. Can’t exactly put my finger on it, but, to me, there’s also an odd, underlying connection to Finland’s long since forgotten Gandalf. Also, spiced with that certain hint of melodic death metal, Survivors Zero‘s CMXCIX warrants obvious and necessary connections to Arch Enemy as well.

As a result, everything seems to be in order on first listen. Producer Jonas Kjellgren (Scar Symmetry) gives a nice, clear playground. Unfortunately, Survivors Zero is plagued by the same problems that affected bands of the genre 10 years ago; the songs don’t have enough depth nor breadth to carry through all of CMXCIX‘s 37-minutes. While I wouldn’t say that CMXCIX ever becomes boring — the album, unfortunately, ain’t just that memorable or captivating.

Truth to be told, there’s certainly amazing talent here, as the Finns’ musicality is flawless, but the group’s mastery fails to translate when it comes to writing songs that make it all worth while. And the cock-teasing is extremely frustrating to be honest, as there are some amazing riffs and great guitar play with boner-raising powers on display here ― but, somehow these truly awesome moments fade away in the grand scheme of things, denying me of my bloody climax.

Despite “I Bury Them Deeper”, “Armageddon Cult” and “I am the Gun” pointing in the right direction, CMXCIX sounds and feels like a debut. Which the album is, but at the same time, it isn’t. The guys have a long background in heavy metal music, so is it wrong to expect more? The concept’s yet to be fully fleshed out it seems. Furthermore, for album that was made to wreak havoc and break balls, CMXCIX feels restricted. The whole shebang needs more hate, bigger explosions and louder machine gun fire! They ought to tell Dr.Phil to go fuck himself with his Ten Life Laws, too. Speaking of nice things, did I mention that I’ve been trying to find my Iniquity albums to bolster my Yyrkoon binge? I also remembered how good of an album Extreme Noise Terror’s Being and Nothing is. That shit is the bomb, yo!

Anyhoot, quite simply, Survivor Zero’s debut album is less than the sum of its parts. After it stops spinning, you won’t find it haunting your neck muscles forevermore (like Nevermore.) It’s not a bad album per se, but in the long run it’s colorless and odorless.  However, it does showcase a capable bunch and features promising playfulness here and there. Sadly, there’s no consistent energy.

While CMXCIX does fall short, there’s no denying the underlying promise and the pure talent behind it. I’d imagine that once the dudes get more mileage together, they’ll eventually deliver a haymaker that’ll make me bang my head uncontrollably against a brick wall, scream obscenities and voice my legions towards all that is metal.

At least, they’d better.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mikko K.
April 5th, 2010

Comments

  1. Commented by: Sotajumala/Survivors Zero – Slaughter at Lutakko (DVD) « Teeth of the Divine

    […] Slaughter at Lutakko a Sotajumala DVD. I’ll come back to Survivors Zero in the near future with a review of their latest album […]


  2. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    Gandalf, eh?


  3. Commented by: Apollyon

    I wouldn’t make any direct comparisons, as there isn’t much of death’n’roll on CMXCIX, and musically the two bands are quite a far from one another. Survivors Zero is definitely more pummeling of the two. Still, there’s a certain quality to the guitars (perhaps) that brought up Gandalf — out of all the bands in the world — into my mind. Go figure.


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