Souls at Zero
Souls at Zero were formerly known as Wrathchild America and released two albums under that name for for Atlantic Records. Souls at Zero released three albums for Energy Records before disbanding in 1996. Drummer Shannon Larkin also played with Ugly Kid Joe.I was always curious of the name change and a kind radio DJ asked the band this very question and passed the information on to me.

When the band came to a Z-Rock station for which I was working, I asked the lead singer that exact question. He said they were originally Wrathchild. Atlantic Records, however, changed their name to Wrathchild America just before “Climbing The Walls” was released. The changed it, as a matter of fact, without consulting the band. The reason given being that there was already a successful metal group in the U.K. with the name Wrathchild. The band always hated the fact that America was tacked on to the name, but they were under contract and couldn’t change it. When the contract was finally released, they immediately changed the name to Souls At Zero, which was what they wanted to do originally.

Souls at Zero Souls At Zero (Energy) 1993

1. "Frustration" (4:37)
2. "Never" (5:22)
3. "Look" (4:16)
4. "Hardline" (4:40)
5. "Lost" (6:19)
6. "Checkin' Out" (4:20)
7. "Souls at Zero" (5:37)
8. "Grey World" (4:28)
9. "Not You" (6:10)
10. "Crowded Head" (4:35)
11. "Welcome to the 90s" (4:18)
12. "Mind's Eye" (8:34)

1993 was a bad year for metal. Grunge and alternative were the flavors of the day, and heavy metal was no longer considered cool by the mainstream. Of course real heavy metal never went away as it was always underground to begin with. This fact is proven by excellent releases like Souls At Zero that came out during those musically depressed times. Souls at Zero pick up where Wrathchild America left off. Actually I am still unsure what the deal was with the name change. I have heard that it was due to the changing climate of music in the early 90's, but I have also read it was due to some legal problem with the band's former label, Atlantic Records. In anycase, Souls At Zero is a heavy album with some thrash metal tendencies, loads of attitude, progressive songwriting, and stellar musicianship. The band combines heavy riff work with some funky bass lines and drum beats to create a very unique style. At times I hear a bit of Pantera in the band's sound. However, they certainly are not Pantera clones. It's a shame that heavy metal was so depressed in the early 90's and albums like this were relegated to the cut-out bins as Souls At Zero really is a worthwhile CD. Picked up this disc for $4 on eBay.

six-t-six Souls at Zero - six-t-six (Energy) 1994

1. "Don't Ask" (3:34)
2. "Underneath" (5:40)
3. "Flies" (2:22)
4. "Hardline" [demo] (4:36)
5. "I Against I" (3:44)
6. "When the Shit Hits the Fan" (2:15)

A short, yet powerful 22 minute EP. Loads of Metallica meets Pantera modern grooves with a crunchy, meaty production and just a hint of the band's former thrash metal roots (Wrathchild America). Killer cover of fellow DC-rasta thrashers Bad Brains "I Against I." Will have to investige some more of this band's music.

Taste of the Perverse Souls At Zero - Taste of the Perverse (Energy) 1995

1. "Undecided" (3:16)
2. "Strip" (4:12)
3. "Cold" (4:49)
4. "Taken Apart" (3:37)
5. "My Fault?" (4:14)
6. "Thrown Down" (3:09)
7. "Inside A Scream" (5:28)
8. "Needles" (4:58)
9. "Me Myself I" (4:18)
10. "Know More" (4:47)
11. "Human Distortion" (1:08)

I heard this album for the first time many years before I actually owned it. I was in a car with a friend who played me the album. As he remembers it, I shrugged them off as "alternative metal." Hmmm...perhaps Souls At Zero's final recording is more 'modern' sounding than their early Wrathchild America days, but to call this 'alternative' is just wrong. "Taste of the Perverse" is riff heavy not unlike Pantera, but also contains a spattering of melody and plenty of tasty guitar solos. Most of the alternative metal bands I hear just sound angry and forsake any sort of melody whatsoever. That is not the case with Souls At Zero. Oh and if "Undecided" doesn't get you up and moving, you're probably dead. However, I wonder, had this album come out a few years later if it would not have been much more well received. "Human Distortion" is a spoken word type thing buried at the end of track ten.

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