What do you do when you find yourself no longer in a band? Moreover, what if that band, like them or loathe them, has become one of the biggest names in the world of Power metal, touring the globe in a blur of wailing guitars and blazing speed metal glory? In the case of Z.P. Theart, the former vocalist with Dragonforce, the answer was simple…form an even better band.
The band that has risen from the ashes of the apparently fiery split with DragonForce for alleged ‘insurmountable differences of musical opinion’ is named I Am I and “Even Horizon” is the band’s debut album, its first tentative toe in the water. But, in actual fact, this record is less a toe in the water and more of a full-on springboard dive, complete with double pike somersaults. There’s no way of getting away from it, this album is utterly killer and will delight a great many people along the way. And whilst I greatly enjoyed the latest offering from Theart’s ex-colleagues, “Event Horizon” is better.
I Am I is comprised of Theart on vocals, Paul Clark Jr. on drums, guitarist Jacob Ziemba and bassist Neil Salmon, with writing credits going to both Theart and Ziemba. And it is the song writing where this album really excels, because every single one of the ten tracks is an anthem, full of hard rock and melodic metal goodness. Whilst the album displays a wealth of fast-paced solos, slick riffing and frenetic drumming, with I Am I, the focus is very much on the composition itself, with the extraneous fripperies and instrumental indulgences held in check and only unleashed when the song demands it.
“Event Horizon” kicks off in supreme style thanks to the barnstorming ‘This Is My Life’ complete with one of the best choruses delivered by a power metal band in the last five or so years. It is quickly followed by more of the same in the shape of ‘Silent Genocide’, ‘Stay A While’, ‘Cross The Line’, ‘In The Air Tonight’, ‘King Of Ruins’, ‘Kiss Of Judas’, ‘Dust 2 Dust’, ‘Wasted Wonders’ and ‘Pave The Way’. Those of you who are eagle-eyed or maths savvy will have realised that I have just listed all ten tracks on the album and this is entirely deliberate; each and every track delivers the goods in spades, so much so that I cannot pick any favourites or any weak moments. Hooks, licks, vocal melodies, sing-along choruses, it’s all present and correct, delivered with stylish aplomb.
In many ways, pressing play on “Event Horizon” is like pressing the fast-forward button on your life because I’ll bet you that 48 minutes has rarely passed so damned quickly. Such is the quality on display and the sheer fun and enjoyment that is gleaned from listening, I Am I could just have released one of the best albums of 2012.