Zero Verdict, founded in 2013, is a rock band from Oulo, Finland, made up of members from existing bands Myon, Vermivore, Machina and King’s Ruin. Zero Verdict’s first EP, Clarity, was released in digital formats just recently and boy will the sound ever blow you away.
The EP kicks off with a track The Perfect White Lie and it grabs you immediately. It has an 80’s rock feel in both the musical and vocal department. The lyrics feel like they’ve been transported from the 80’s as well with a very strong Journey meets Black Sabbath feel. For a three piece band, these guys sure have a very strong musical ethic that could transcend so many different rock genres. Zero Verdict hinges on being a hard-core rock band with Metal flairs, yet you can still hear subtle hints of Europa-pop rock in the backgrounds which would allow this heavy rock band to also co-exist in the alternative-rock world as well. Tapio Mattila, who writes the music and most of the lyrics on this EP, is also the guitarist and he is phenomenal. His guitar solo in this opening track is mind-blowingly amazing. As much as Sami Huotari is strong on vocals there are just times that I want to listen to the band play with nothing else. By the end of the first track on the EP you know that this is a band that hinges on being as equally talented as they are professional and you can’t wait for what’s next.
Their second track, Alone, has a Trans-Siberian Orchestra feel to it. They slow down the musical elements right after the heavy intro and rock on the rock opera ballad feeling that is conveyed through Huotari’s vocals. The musicality is ever present and continues to bloom as the song progresses as it creates a pleasant cacophony of instrumentation that will leave the listener in a state of rock-induced euphoria. Alone is a beautiful song that truly highlights the bands talents and makes the instrumentation sound much larger than just 3 people.
Lost in a Haze is the band’s third track and by now you realize that the songs are longer than your typical rock song (this 4 song EP is nearly 30 minutes long), but that’s alright because the band takes the time to allow every member to show off their talents and it’s worth it. Lost in a Haze starts off with the beautiful vocals of Huotari who asks: “am I dreaming or am I lost in a haze?” Throughout the piece Huotari explores life through memories and the escape of haziness through sleep. It’s a beautiful song of self-exploration and it seeks answers on an existential plane. As the journey unfolds the music picks up and carries Huotari to the end, an amazing trip had by all.
The final track on the EP, Clarity¸ is unfortunately the weakest song on the EP. It feels that it drags on much longer than it needs to and is very dependent on its strong chorus. This is the rock ballad for the band and is the only one whose lyrics aren’t written by Mattila.