JEFF LOOMIS – Zero Order Phase

JEFF LOOMIS - Zero Order Phase
  • 8/10
    JEFF LOOMIS - Zero Order Phase - 8/10


Century Media
Release date: August 22, 2008

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

After Warrel Dane, the second Nevermore musician passes his time by releasing a solo album. Jeff Loomis, guitar player of Seattle’s finest, found himself in between albums and touring and wrote a few tunes which he sold to Century Media to publish. That he managed that, is only explained by the success of his original band, as the album is instrumental… something which does not help sales too much. During the 80s and to some part the 90s, instrumental albums of guitar shredders were quite common. Remember Mike Varney’s Shrapnel label? Marty Friedman, Jason Becker, David T. Chastain, Tony MacAlpine, just to name a few, regularly released albums of this kind, mostly with only little success. But it helped to build the scene and the reputation of the guitarist per se, although many of those releases were quite demanding of the listener.

Is Zero Order Phase any better? Fortunately, yes. Of course, with the information that Jeff had a little help from Ron Jarzombek of Watchtower and Spastic Ink fame (and a rather obscure and difficult instrumental solo album) and from a Jazz musician named Michael Manning one could get the impression that this is another show off record. But Jeff, although audibly able to shred, is far from such an ego trip. Instead he knows, and proves how to write songs that work even without vocals.

In the course pf the album it becomes obvious how much Loomis influences the sound of Nevermore. Many songs could easily be taken for a Nevermore song, if they only had Warrel Dane’s vocals. But since the voice is missing, the musician just added more of his incredible riff work to each track. That makes Zero Order Phase one of the best Metal albums of the year, and a definite must for every guitar aficionado. It works in aggressive pieces like the opening track “Shouting Fire At The Funeral” as well as in humorously titled “Azure Haze” which purposely reminds of some Hard Rock gods, not only through the title. Also the acoustic track “Departure” works extremely well, and even though the Nevermore feeling and attitude is ever present, the highlight of the album is the most progressive track, “Cashmere Shiv” with its jazzy sections that are a delight not only for Prog fans.

So, is there any criticism to be voiced? Yes, there is: The only point of criticism for this instrumental work is that it is instrumental. People who generally think instrumental music is just not the real thing get an incredible piece of Metal music that almost makes them forget that there is such a thing as vocals. But only almost. Because there is this tiny little voice whispering “Just imagine how those songs would have sounded if Warrel Dane had written his typical vocal melodies to it…”. That would have been the album of the year, and not just one of the best instrumental Metal albums ever.


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.