Released: 2008, Self-released
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Kind of a ´supergroup´ - would I say, of Finnish metal musicians in this band called Survivors Zero. Tapio Wilska has previously been a member of such acts as Nattvindens Gråt (in which Tuomas Holopainen from Nightwish also played the keyboards over 10 years ago), Wizzard, Finntroll, etc.; Reima Kellokoski (ex-Belial, etc.) pounds the drums in Impaled Nazarene nowadays; Tommi Virranta a.k.a. ´Rotten´ was the vocalist on Deathchain´s two first albums; Sami Jämsén has mostly learned the ropes as a producer of many Finnish metal bands (at Studio Perkele), but also played in a deathrash act called Messiah Paratroops in the early ´90s - and lastly J-V Hintakka (ex-Funeris Nocturnum, ex-Atakhama) who also plays guitar in Machine Men as his main job. So talk about quite an experienced line-up here - woah!
However, Survivors Zero enters quite a different musical world compared to these fellows´ previous bands. I would say the best way to describe their sound on this 2-song ´demo´ is to take Arch Enemy´s debut album BLACK EARTH in comparison because the vibe, the heaviness, the crispness and the style that Survivors Zero possess is not that far removed from the all-crushing atmosphere that Arch Enemy´s debut has. Even Tommi´s vocal style is pretty similar to Johan Liiva´s on BLACK EARTH, so the connection between the sound of BLACK EARTH and Survivors Zero is definitely there.
The two songs of this promotional ´demotape´, "Embrace the Inferno" and "Fortress of Lies" both come in with a big, lethal BANG! The guitar riffs are extremely heavy and crunchy sounding, lots of melodic leads are present constantly - and the way the songs have been arranged, are meant to turn heads in Survivors Zero´s direction immediately. I mean, as some sort of odd reference, you can of course drive a Rolls Royce Drophead Coupé model all you want without making that big of an impression at all. Yes, it looks classy, elegant and surely is something that probably most of us would like to own. But how original and unique would that be then if - all of a sudden, most of us had such a vehicle under our fancy butts? Or alternatively, you can always choose a car like Lada Samara and pimp your ride the way you want and simply impress the hell out of everyone. That´s exactly what Survivors Zero have done (no you smart asses; they don´t drive Lada Samaras, whatsoever!); taking the best parts out from this and that and melted them together to get two finely executed, heavy but melodic death metal songs out for this promotional release, a bit in the vein of the material on Arch Enemy´s BLACK EARTH album. I guess that´s probably the closest and most honest impression I can think when describing these two songs of Survivors Zero here for you. I wouldn´t wonder a bit if they got snapped by some label soon. Great stuff here!