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Absolute Zero - 2000 Never Surrender

Marc Engeran - vocals, guitars
Chris Roberts - vocals
Randy Settoon - keyboards, vocals
Jim Odom - guitars
David Peters - drums
David Campo - bass

On the GLORY-DAZE site there is a review of a duo called Rokbox. From Louisana, this pairing of Marc Engeran and Randy Settoon were responsible for a superb slice of Journey-esque AOR on a small independent label. Well, as luck would have it, the pair were also responsible for another collection some years before. In 1991, three pairings got together. Engeran and Settoon; David Peters and Jim Odom from Le Roux, and Chris Roberts and David Campo from the band Network (remember them, they included Terry Brock in their lineup at one stage). A whole series of songs were put together, but for whatever reason, the output failed to materialise. Somehow the Rokbox guys acquired the master tapes, did a complete remix, and here it is, courtesy of the ever resourceful AOR Heaven. Combining elements of Journey and Triumph, is where this sextet end up. Even here, Engeran has so much of Neal Schon's guitar phrasings embedded in AZ's music.

The Songs
Now, that might sound like a useful set of reference points to make you rub your hands with glee. But for what it's worth, the music is good without being overly dynamic. It's not paint by numbers exactly, but it's definitely missing something. The opening pair of songs like 'Never Surrender' and 'Make Believe' don't do anything for me unfortunately. When they do get it together, it's impressive. 'Jaimee' is primetime AOR with those typically 80's keyboards and melodies shining through. 'Patiently' as a ballad, is another, where the vocals zero in on John Elefante territory. Both 'Caught In The Fire' and 'Stranded' have obvious similarities to the Rokbox material, and you can tell that this style carried through six years later.

In Summary
For those wanting to make an investigation into Absolute Zero, all I can say it's good, but nothing earth shattering. I would suggest that Rokbox is a better bet. Admirable for the fact that it got released, so die hard AOR fans will probably want this in any case.

Track Listing:
01 Never Surrender
02 Make Believe
03 Jaimee
04 Caught In The Fire
05 Out Of Time
06 Should Have Known Better
07 Stranded
08 Patiently
09 One Lifetime

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This article has been tagged
#1 | windsofmarch on June 21 2014 09:45:34
Kevin Chalfant/707 is a good reference as well altough Never Surrender is a little average in my view. Just three o four good songs.
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