Listening to this debut release from Zedi Forder makes me think of a rephrasing of a now-famous commercial: I don’t always review radio-friendly alt-metal, but when I do I review good radio-friendly alt-metal. My selections (read: offal) this month have ranged from bad to worse, but I’ve been granted respite with the debut album from this British trio. Formed from now-defunct bands Tricore, An Entire Legion, and Idigent, Zedi Forder are here to help us breeze into summer with some catchy and accessible metal. Is it suitable for those of us who are too kvlt to listen to anything approaching hockey rink music?

Some background on these fellows: drummer/singer/songwriter Chris Kerley and guitarist Mark Carstairs hail from An Entire Legion, a band of similar bent to Zedi Forder, who split up a couple years ago. They were also in Tricore, a band that smiled much too often for their own good, and similarly disbanded. Bass player Richard Tomsett previously released albums as Indigent, a one-man experimental black metal band. So, a variety of backgrounds and a lot of skill spread amongst these blokes, and it translates better in the songs than one might think. Disparate background and influences can sometimes coalesce into intriguing, engaging music, and that is the case here.

Opener “Killakarta” is a standard mainstream alt-metal song, along the lines of what one might hear from Chevelle for instance. And like Chevelle’s better tunes, Zedi Forder reel you in with solid hooks, slick production, and top-notch vocals. It chugs and riffs along like solid arena rock until throwing us for a loop with a quiet interlude in the middle. It’s a nice twist on what started as an average arrangement, but a good example of what’s in store: essentially, radio-friendly metal with a lot of interesting twists and turns. Most noticeable is the band’s sense of humor in songs like “Nachoman” (complete with the silly video below) and the doo-wop of “Dark Mook.” Throughout the album one gets the feeling these guys are having a blast jamming together. The jazzy snappiness throughout “Open Wide” is a quirky changeup, and leads directly into the frenetic “They Love it More.” All told, variety is the name of the game here, and it keeps the listener engaged the whole way through.

It’s hard to find much fault with Zedi Forder. Combining excellent musicianship with top-notch songwriting tends to result in solid records, and that’s the case here. Perhaps the drums could sound a bit better, as they do come off as generic, but that’s a minor nitpick. Musically Kerley holds the fort down with solid work on the skins, nails his vocals, and Tomsett is more than equal to the task on bass, dropping inventive riffs and fills with ease. Carstairs’ guitar work varies from stereotypical alt-metal tone to jazzy gliding, but the generic riffing never lasts long enough for a song to sink into mediocrity, and his changeups are tasteful and well-arranged. Interestingly, the album comes with four bonus tracks, completely reworked acoustic versions of some of the songs, and the band’s capabilities are evidenced by the fact that a couple of these – “Machines” and “Time After Time” in particular – are actually stronger than the originals.

Despite their label as alt-metal, or heavy rock, Zedi Forder combine their pop sensibilities with a dark humor and undercurrent of off-kilter menace much like we hear from Faith No More and System of a Down. None of the songs come across as filler, although of course some are more instantly memorable than others. “My Moon” has a great chorus, and closing track “Lonely One” is the most complex song on the album, yet it sticks in your head like a baby monkey riding a pig backwards. Considering that the album and the bonus tracks are all on Bandcamp for Name Your Price, you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not taking a chance. Zedi Forder will be getting a lot of airplay in my car this summer.


Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Self-released
Websites: bandcamp.com/album/zedi-forder | zediforder.com | facebook.com/zediforder/
Releases Worldwide: June 10th, 2017

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  • El_Cuervo

    Some classic Jean-Luc moves in that there video.

  • Dr. Scorpion

    Not my cup of tea. That’s good because i don’t like tea. This is my cotton candy :-)

    • Nukenado

      Topped with whipping cream, chocolates and cherries.

  • Nukenado

    An accessable record with a DR8!?
    This is… madness! And I’ll gladly play with this madness.
    The embed track got more intense after around 2 minutes, which is great. I like almost dying of diabetes. The embed track makes me feel nice, fuzzy and sickly sweet without overstying its welcome.
    But seriously, what is it with the surge in DR7 and DR8 records lately? Madness!

    • Reviews of not big label releases.

      • Nukenado

        Great. Yeah, that’s depressing.

  • Wes Allen

    That guy’s beard alone merits the 3.5.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    Two lumps of sugar way up!

  • Ivan E. Rection

    Thanks Huck: Love Chevelle, so will check this out. At first glance of the cover I thought this was a review of Grindmother.

    • The Akerstache

      The Chevelle name-drop alone made me interested. They were HUGE for my exploration into metal music, and I’m still a bit of a fanboy, despite it being quite a while since I’ve listened to them regularly.

  • Strapping Old Fart

    I demand every band I like record a video like this!

  • Cherd

    That’s the most 90’s album art I’ve ever seen

  • AnnieK13

    Ugh…Wish I could un-see that video. Around 2 min in the music got a bit better but .. yeah, not my thing.

  • Ironwood_Druid

    That video…can’t…look…away!!!

    • Strapping Old Fart

      The ring dance is the best part IMHO. Whole thing goes a long way towards removing the try-hard smart-ass vibe I usually get from this kind of music. Ironically.
      Went and paid good money for this on bandcamp, so clearly this is the correct way to market alt metal to trve vlde dvd devth fvns like mvsvlf.

  • Eli Valcik

    Did someone say Jedi Order? no?..ok…

  • Dowsky

    The embedded song sounds like a heavier version of Portugal. The Man’s earlier stuff, specifically Waiter: “You Vultures!”

    Certainly sounds like very fun stuff, though I was kind of expecting a 4.0 from how positive the review came off.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    So, this wannabe disco weirdness gets reviewed, but you won’t touch the new Anathema because apparently “it’s not metal enough.” Sounds like something you’d hear playing in an all -night laundromat. 3.5 for this? Wow.

    • El_Cuervo

      Just checked your profile, you’re really cut up about Anathema. Do you really need our validation? If you like that record, good for you, go enjoy it.

      • Malcolm in the Middle X

        I get the impression that not reviewing it was more a matter of not wanting to waste a review crapping on a beloved band. I bought the album, and can’t bring myself to care. Considerably easier to review a former metal band who doesn’t play metal when the music still hits hard, although in another spot.

        • Oscar Albretsen

          Believe it or not, I’ve never been a huge Anathema fan, but you said it – they’re a beloved metal band. This site has always made exceptions for not so metal releases by beloved metal bands (see:Opeth), and never judged them aversely because they’re not heavy. It’s a big time double standard to pull this rationale out of nowhere for this one album. Obviously, as Cuervo pointed out, I’m making too big a deal out of this, so I’ll try to give it a rest.

          • Malcolm is pretty much right. We heard it and no one really wanted to review it and since it’s so easy listening, there didn’t seem much of a point in covering it anyway.

          • Oscar Albretsen

            Well, you’ve personally put way too much effot making courteous responses to me bitching about this one thing, so I’ll shut up about it.

          • Drew Music

            …is that my faith in humanity stirring that I feel? You just won the internet in my books, sir, I can’t recall ever seeing any kind-of-confrontational conversation on the interwebz ending in so civil a manner before.

      • Oscar Albretsen

        Actually I’ve only heard one song off of it. I’m frustrated that this site which I’ve held in such high regards for many years is just ignoring releases from bands like this in favor of independent weirdness like this. Even if it got a 0/5, I’d be happy just to see it on the site.

        • We don’t often ignore big releases. Anathema we did. We can’t please everyone.

        • Isn’t it actually a good thing that we get to hear about “independent weirdness like this” in favor of the usual stuff everyone’s already heard about?

  • Treble Yell

    Embedded track reminded me of a mix between FNM and Regurgitator, which is no bad thing. Thanks for the heads up.

  • R.Daneel Olivaw
  • Good music, crap lyrics. Fortunately, I don’t care much about lyrics.

  • Feytalist

    This fuckin’ band has no right to be as good as they are.

  • Tofu muncher

    I like the embedded track and may check out the rest of the album. The band photo, though: It looks like it was a selfie photo with beautification set to the max.