Jeff Loomis
Zero Order Phase


3.5
great

Review

by Shattered_Future USER (50 Reviews)
September 9th, 2008 | 29 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Shredheads, revel in the glory of your new God.

Nevermore was one of the few American metal bands who actually claimed to have a style all to their own. With the release of their self-titled album in 1995, the group has since enjoyed a long and fruitful career and is still going strong to this day. Through a combination of masterful riffery, progressive song structures, technical shred passages, and the unique vocal style and lyrics of Warrell Dane, the group forged a passage through the American metal scene that was entirely original.

I always thought the best part of Nevermore was not Warrell Dane, but guitarist Jeff Loomis. Loomis is an absolutely fantastic guitarist and can shred, sweep and generally melt faces like there’s no tomorrow, but he also possesses a keen ear for songwriting. His riffs are nearly as technical as his solos and quite unique. While both Dane and Loomis released solo albums this year, Loomis’s comes out on top.

The idea of a solo guitar album may seem boring to some, dreadful to others, and they usually are. Many solo albums are composed of nothing but blistering fretboard wankery ripped straight out of Vivaldi or Bach’s songbook (Mr. Yngwie Malmsteen please stand up) backed by boring, repetitive song structures and simplistic rhythm instruments. Loomis defies these conventions and creates an album where the guitar is not only the centerpiece, but just a part as well. The attention to riffing is phenomenal on this recording. Rarely content to have simple held chords, Loomis’s fingers fly over those low B flat strings to create a sonic bombardment of epic proportions. Never has a low chugged chord sounded so good as in the hands of Mr. Loomis.

However, it is truly the solos that take point. Free of vocal constraints, Loomis has dreamt up some of the most deliciously atonal shredwork known to man. Tunes like Opulent Maelstrom will surely leave even the best of guitarists scratching their heads for days, trying to make sense of the organized chaos. The sweeping work in Jato Unit is absolutely mindblowing, and even though Loomis relies on sweeps a little bit too much throughout the album, it takes a long time for it to get old. The prerequisite “acoustic guitar arpeggios with wailing guitar solo overdub” also makes its way on here a few times, but Loomis handles it with aplomb.

Cashmere Shiv is one of the standout tracks on here, featuring Michael Manring on a terrific fretless bass solo and producer Neil Kernon playing a fretless guitar solo. It opens with quite a dissonant riff and proceeds to go through all of the motions, including the soaring guitar solo, the chug patterns, the clean Arabic break, and the blazing technicality. However, the best moment on the whole album occurs around 2:55. Simply enough, it’s about as low a chord as you can go without muddying the sound and a couple of screeching guitar notes. For whatever reason, it’s executed better than anyone else I’ve ever heard. I suppose the simplicity crammed into the middle of a crazy technical song makes it seem all the better, but it’s absolutely beautiful. Don’t worry, it’s quick to be followed up by some nuts chromatic shredding.

Miles Of Machines is another favorite, starting with what sounds like MIDIfied harp playing a quick classical pattern. But then Loomis duplicates the exact pattern on his guitar. And it’s freakin’ HARD. The classical rips in this song are all over, but Loomis’s sweeping arpeggios sound better than anybody else. Full of emotion yet packed full of the technical mastery many only dream about, this tune slays.

Ultimately, the album doesn’t get a higher score because it’s produced for a limited audience. Fans of Nevermore will enjoy it, surely, and guitarheads will be blowing their loads for days to come, but that’s about it. Many can appreciate it, but only a select few will enjoy it. Nonetheless, Zero Order Phase stands as one of my favorite guitar solo albums and one of the better things to come down the pike this year.

Recommended Tracks:
Opulent Maelstrom
Cashmere Shiv
Miles Of Machines




Recent reviews by this author
Swallow the Sun Plague Of ButterfliesMar De Grises Draining The Waterheart
Mono You Are ThereAlanis Morissette Flavors of Entanglement
Alexandre Desplat The Golden Compass OSTTarja Turunen My Winter Storm
user ratings (144)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Shattered_Future
September 10th 2008


1540 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Amazon had this listed coming out on the 2nd of September...

sadmafioso
September 10th 2008


318 Comments


jeff loomis more like ugliest man on the planet

marksellsuswallets
September 10th 2008


4848 Comments


Chris Broderick > Jeff Loomis
I never really liked Jeff Loomis much, he kinda just seems like he's constantly got the "Hey guys look what I can do!" mentality. I might check out one or two tracks from this, but honestly shred albums are awful like 90% of the time...

Lunarfall
September 10th 2008


3179 Comments


I actually like Loomis better. Probably because he's from my hometown lol.

Manring's fretless solo = sweet.

Fyi, this came out in Europe August 22nd.This Message Edited On 09.09.08

CrazyFool84
September 10th 2008


1080 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

This isn't a bad album at all, pretty entertaining. There are a few stale points as with many purely instrumental outings, but overall a good listen.

Willie
Moderator
September 10th 2008


16049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This isn't bad but it lacks the style and substance of the Ron Jarzombek instrumental albums. Especially the Blotted Science stuff. This album feels like an extended solo from the last album... which isn't bad, but it gets repetitive.

Digging: Skrew - Universal Immolation

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 10th 2008


17222 Comments


I've always liked Loomis' style with Nevermore. I guess I'll check this out.

jrowa001
September 10th 2008


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is a pretty good album. havent listened to it enough to rate it. Loomis is great

spoon_of_grimbo
September 10th 2008


2241 Comments


loomis is a much more tasteful shredder than most and his riffs are fucking immense, i'm totally gonna check this out. nice review!

Bleak123
September 10th 2008


1902 Comments


Jeff Loomis rules on zee gee-tar

ikarus
September 10th 2008


565 Comments


"backed by boring, repetitive song structures and simplistic rhythm instruments"

You've never heard Perpetual Burn have you.

Loomis had some pretty awesome riffs not to mention wankery-level solos, and his over-2-octave arpeggios had an interesting sound, i'll probably check this out

Altmer
September 10th 2008


5652 Comments


Loomis is guitastic.

Gotta hear this and WD's solo album too, but I don't care for these guys solo.

I want (Never)more.

yas666eer
September 10th 2008


270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Nice review mate. True said. More of a guitarist/ Nevermore fan album... but great none the less :P

Nightsbane
September 11th 2008


15 Comments


[Quote=Shattered Future]Amazon had this listed coming out on the 2nd of September...[/Quote]That is the European Date. The American date is the 30th.

I'll vote. Good review, as they all are. Haven't listened to the whole thing myself, and the few tracks were kind of standard Loomis. The standout so far for me though was Jato Unit's Loomis/ Jarzombek tradeoff solos. Good stuff.

Wizard
September 11th 2008


19508 Comments


I always thought the best part of Nevermore was not Warrell Dane, but guitarist Jeff Loomis.

So very true.

Ultimately, the album doesn’t get a higher score because it’s produced for a limited audience.

This is the fact that makes your review so credible. Excellent point.

Very well written and descriptive review, right down to a tee. Jeff Loomis is such an underrated guitarist and its about time his talents become showcased. I will be picking this up!

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

ikarus
September 15th 2008


565 Comments


I don't know but this is missing something that the good solo guitarist albums have, I guess it's because it's so death metal oriented in the rhythms and the riffs. Not to be obvious but it really just sounds like one nevermore solo after the next.

Willie
Moderator
September 15th 2008


16049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I Said: This isn't bad but it lacks the style and substance of the Ron Jarzombek instrumental albums. Especially the Blotted Science stuff. This album feels like an extended solo from the last album... which isn't bad, but it gets repetitive.
You Said:I don't know but this is missing something that the good solo guitarist albums have, I guess it's because it's so death metal oriented in the rhythms and the riffs. Not to be obvious but it really just sounds like one nevermore solo after the next.
I think we agree ;) If you haven't done it you should try Blotted Science.

rattlehead42147
October 4th 2008


1345 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

had no idea anyone reviewed this. whoever added slayer to the "similar bands" is a fucking idiot.

sickofantsid
November 14th 2008


129 Comments


If you haven't done it you should try Blotted Science.


YES!

zuzek
February 2nd 2009


751 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review, totally agree. Just one minor point of attention: "the clean Arabic break". I don't think it's Arabic at all but Chinese. The instrument you refer to is an Erhu, what we in the west call a 'Chinese violin'.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy