PRIEST! That was my first thought, when I heard the opening track of the third ZONATA record "Buried Alive", the British hadn't as much power on "Demolition"!
But no, what the men around the brothers Nyberg offer is no poor imitation of the former Metal monster, it's more a really fine mixture of some PRIEST elements and a European, pretty classically influenced Power Metal (whereby, there are some parallels to a band, which name I can't remember, I hate things like that!) what they deliver, sometimes with keyboard support (but not as intensive as RHAPSODY for example, and it's also without cembalo support and stuff like this), sometimes with sparely, but effectively introduced choirs.
Surely, something like that, we had also on "Tunes Of Steel" and "Reality", but not with such a consequence and especially not with such class, you can feel the in a long time gained experience of the Borås-quintet around the added member, Ex-CONVICTION guitar player Niclas Karlsson, because "Buried Alive" demonstrates the band at a thorough high level, that they reached just partly on their former records.
Take the former called crunching opener "Buried Alive" with its obvious PRIEST influence, the great "Visions Of Sorrow", the more melodically rocking "A Dark Chapter", the fantastic, partly dark and pretty unusual ballad "In The Chamber", the crunching "Heroes Of The Universe", that's all power stuff, which is truly great and which turns ZONATA out to a serious candidate for the Power Metal league, because they are able to differ from the rest of the bands, although they sometimes remind you of some of them.
Another factor is the powerful production of the Västerås Underground studio and a great Meininghaus cover (SACRED STEEL, FALCONER, BRAINSTORM), well, finished is a pretty mature, strong album, which I like to play again and again. (Online October 27, 2002)