Darn...I could've sworn I'd come across this Hagen (Ruhrstadt) based German Metallic Hardcore band before, but I was mistaken...probably came across 'em while updating the tour dates section of the website, I guess! The last time a review of a Zero Mentality (also known as [ZM] release was posted on Concrete Web, was when former colleague Trik did the band's 2007 album Invite Your Soul (find it in the “Archives” section of this here website, posted 10/02/2007) and, finding it lacked severely in historical date, it looks like it's up to me to give you guys some necessary background on the band.
So, this goes back to the end of the year 2002, when a bunch or Hardcore fans from Hagen decided to take the influences from the likes of Cro-Mags and other well-known Metallic Hardcore to form their own band. That the guys felt strongly about both the scene and their music, finds proof in the fact that, since the band's inception, there's only been one line-up change, with original guitarist Dennis Sommer decamping. Since then, that line-up has consisted of lead singer Ben Fink, guitarists Dominik Stammen and Chris Goebels, bassist Thorsten Grobortz, and drummer Marcel Hilgenstock. An early demo (with a line-up I can only guess about) was released (and later reprinted on vinyl) and led to a signing with Dutch Hardcore specialist label GSR, whom released the band's debut full-length In Fear Of Forever in 2005. On the side, the band also signed onto the German Demons Run Amok Entertainment label, who released a split EP with Belgian band The Setup, entitled Soul And Death, in earliest 2007 as a first installment of their obligations toward the band. That same year (as you already know) saw the release of the band's second full-length Invite Your Soul, which was issued in a collaboration between DRA Ent. and GSR, and in 2008 a split EP release with The Heartbreak Hotel entitled Virtues & Vices ended the band's contract with DRA Ent. [ZM] next signed onto the Let It Burn Records roster, with the Oct. 2009 full-length Black Rock (released in collaboration with the Shark Men imprint) as a first result.
In the course of its career, [ZM] has had the opportunity to tour throughout Europe on several occasions, and they played supports to the such genre-important bands as Agnostic Front, Biohazard, Born From Pain, Caliban, Heaven Shall Burn, Madball, Maroon, and Terror, as well as playing on festivals where giants such as Cannibal Corpse, Korn, Machinehead and Slayer would stand on the same stage as they'd been on earlier. They also got raving reviews for their releases and live shows from such important printed magazines as Legacy, Aardschock, Metal Hammer, Rock Hard, as well as from a bunch of web-zines. However, since the release of their 2009 full-length, the band's been on some kind of hiatus, recording-wize!
Well, that's a state of affairs which is now altered with the release of this 7-inch EP (available as download from (www.) acuitymusic.com. What can you expect? Well, I found a rather charming (and to-the-point) description at the label's website, which I'd like to relate to you : “Coming from a deeply routed Hardcore background, Zero Mentality is a band that manages to live up to their existing influences of Metal, Rock, Punk and furtermore. They create a boundless mixture that is true to an individual style rather than being a lump of things. Zero Mentality's sound is familiar to those who like Metal riffs, Rockin' song-structures, nihilistic vocal approaches as well as heartfelt voices. But as this is no limit to the whole package, one should be ready to include everything into expectation.”! Charming description, isn't it? But also a very long-winded way to simply say “varied Rock-structured Hardcore with Metal influences”! Anyway, on the EP at hand, what you actually get is the two vocal tracks “Gemini” and “Serenity Low”, and a video for the first can be found at the homepage of the band's own (www.) zeromentality.com (which apparently only serves to promote that video, as otherwize it's merely a means to connect you to the band's facebook page, on which no music what-so-ever can be found). On the EP's b-side, we get the relatively lengthy (almost as long as the complete a-side) instrumental “Bügerliche Kälte”, on which the band drops its Hardcore leanings for a rather sensitive and overall slower-paced track. As a bonus, the band also packed the track “For Myself” on that side, a songs which was recorded at the b-very start of the band in 2002. Obviously recorded with inferior recording equipment (or by a very inexperienced band, if you please), the sound on that song is regretfully somewhat inferior...or rather, the volume is lacking. As a historical document, it shows that the band's sound was already already established back then, but...compared to the other 3 tracks, it's somewhat out of place.
End conclusion : the 3 main tracks bring us proof of a band still very much alive (and it was about time that the guys gave a sign, you know!), but I'm not sure what reactions are gonna be to that 2002 track. Somehow I guess the band's fans will be please to finally have the track engraved on vinyl, and in a way I guess this EP will be picked up b those die-hard fans anyway...but what would music lovers who come across the band a first time feel about it, I wonder? Anyway, nice release (lóve the mixture of Hardcore & Metal on those Rock-structured arrangements), and although I won't put it among my very favourites, I still feel it deserves a good...