Souls at Zero

Souls At Zero

Souls at Zero - Souls At Zero ©1993 Energy Records
1. Frustration
2. Never
3. Look
4. Hardline
5. Lost
6. Checkin Out
7. Souls At Zero
8. Grey World
9. Not You
10. Crowded Head
11. Welcome To The 90s
12. Mind's Eye

After floundering about in Wrathchild America for many years and two releases, the band strangely decided that a name change would be an appropriate course of action and thus, Souls at Zero (which does not kindly reflect upon any Neurosis output, nor is it related in any manner) was born. There were no member changes but the name change was not the only wind blowing.

Souls at Zero was once called "Sales at Zero" by journalist Ula Gehret. I would suggest the accuracy of the comment was a result of the lackluster music that the band came up with. During their tenure as Wrathchild America, the band went from standard thrash infused metal with goofy lyrics (Climbing the Walls) to adventurous progressive thrash (the excellent 3-D). However, upon embarkment as Souls at Zero, the band rid themselves of their more noodling tendencies for a slower paced and turgid style that hinted just a bit too much of grunge. What had made 3-D so interesting was lost for a minimalized approach. As a result, the self-titled debut is a truly empty experience that features only one memorable song ("Welcome to the 90s", a nifty laundry list of societal ills) and eleven tedious tracks of musical stagnation. If you can sit through it in one listening, you should, at the very least, get a coupon for a free pizza for your suffering. It's simply too lackluster.

Souls at Zero never went very far after this debut. It's a shame that these four men met so many obstacles in their career. Early on it might have been some naive decisions (for example, fighting the name change to Wrathchild America instead of simply getting their first album out while the thrash market was still hot) but in this case, uninteresting music did them in. And that's entirely their fault.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 01/2003

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