Released: 2006, Poko
Reviewer: Arto Lehtinen
When speaking of the birth of Finnish heavy metal, it is more than obvious that Tarot always gets big credit for being in the frontline of the Finnish metal map. They've created such unforgettable metal hymns in the 80’s like “Wings Of Darkness”. Tarot wasn’t alone on a metal crusade that was enjoyed in the glorious years of Finnish metal about 20 years ago as there were a number of other bands - for example OZ, Iron Cross, Riff Raff and of course Zero Nine who have gained a cult-fanbase here in Finland and of course their albums definitely belong to Finnish Metal history.
Zero Nine, being the northern most metal squad hailing from a small cold town Kuusamo located in the eastern part of Lapland, nearby the border of Russia, used to be the best known heavy rock combo at that time. They nailed a reputation by being the most hard touring and working band in the 80’s. Even though the band desperately tried to make a breakthrough outside Finland, success never reached the band. However, the band got prestigious and important supporting slots for Iron Maiden, AC/DC and even booked to play at Monsters Of Rock back 1989 in Stockholm along with Ozzy Osbourne, Def Leppard, Scorpions.
Now the legendary Zero Nine have finally released the first ever comp cd consisting of all in all eighteen songs picked up from their 25 year long career. The opening track “Banging On Your Drums” is excellent hard rock with raging tempo bringing a nice head banging feel. The album presents the most aggressive tunes ever written in Zero Nine history like “Never Stop Running”, “Voodoo You”. If the aggressive tunes can be handled well, also the Bon Jovi oriented ballad tunes used to belong to the band’s repertoire. The tremendous pretentious “Intrique” deserves to have own mention as the song was released as a video in 1986 and was advertised as one of the most expensive videos ever done in Finland as the running costs were amazing - app 4000 Euros. The song itself is one of the finest and emotional tunes with passion. Instead the stuff released in the 90’s presents a little bit different Zero Nine style, as the 90’s songs feature more straightforward rock elements and even “Key To The Paradise” has obvious reggae influences. Even though the album consists of songs of their own, there is one cover tune added for some weird reason. Namely the old Spector/Turner tune “River Deep, Mountain High” is without any doubts a little bit of an eccentric addition. While listening to the album, it is interesting to pay attention to the development how the band found a style of their own on the fourth album - WHITE LINES. The sounds here improved dramatically as did the playing. In general the band’s style got much tighter, whereas the first three albums were, in my opinion, more based on the progressive hard rock style.
It is the shame Zero Nine never managed to gain the respected following outside of Finland that much for example compared to these Swedish awful pudel and hilarious looking make up and hair bands. The comp cd gives a perfect dissection on the career of Zero Nine showing the Finnish northernmost hard and heavy metal squad was above all awful b or even a-class bands. Unfortunately things were different in the 80's. However Zero Nine's comp. Cd is a worth of every cent indeed.