Zero Gravity is a fairly recent formation. The five-piece female fronted group from Indore, India came together in 2012, building up their fanbase more than their discography. Eventually, they caught the interest of Transcending Obscurity Distribution, associated with the promotional company Transcending Obscurity India, who picked the band up to issue their debut full-length album Holocaust Awaits towards the end of 2014. Heralded as that country's Arch Enemy, outsiders have been taking interest across the globe. But is this yet another carbon copy hero worship group, or does this effort bring anything new to the table?

While the band does have it's share of Melodic Death Metal elements that can be compared to Arch Enemy other than having a female vocalist, there's still a great deal stylistically different to this group that sets a huge divide between the two. There's no Neoclassical influence found within Holocaust Awaits, replaced with a sizeable chunk of Groove Metal influence. There's also some obvious Thrash Metal and Metalcore elements at work after the "Intro" track's sounds like that of running water, electronic effects, and oppressive sirens with voices over a loudspeaker in the distance, setting up quite the dystopian Indian environment, or a country much like it at the very least.

"Weapons Edge" keeps that darker atmosphere alive through a slower melodic track ripe with depressing riffs in as fluid a progression as that of a Dark Tranquillity performance. Things do become a little sleeker and more abrasive as you approach the three minute mark, all for the sake a spoken word segment similar to the introduction of "Laid to Rest" by Lamb of God that hits just before the shifts, as well as a breakdown that is fairly steady with the earlier pace in tact, though not that impressive. Both of those specific aspects of the band's sound do continue to reappear throughout the release, though the latter does have its share of solid executions more than the former manages to pull off.

While the slower material is good for what it is, the band truly shines when they pick up steam. Unfortunately, this doesn't really start until "Democratic Warfare". This one has some Hardcore style aggression behind the groove heavy riffs, and the raspy vocal approach also lends a little extra life to the mix. Even the breakdown about three minutes in incorporates enough tension to really make it hit hard. "Holocaust Awaits" has some hostility in the chorus, not to mention a kind of galloping sensation to the execution of the riffs there and in other spots. It's a fantastic song from start to finish, keeping the slow paced material to a minimum, but the lack of gang chants to the thrashier spots, like two-and-a-half minutes in, seems like a wasted opportunity. There's also a very thin cymbal presence over most of the song that just sounds awkward.

"Blasphemy" has yet another spoken word narrative, this time at the start, but it works courtesy the slow build to the energetic Thrash Metal explosion that erupts between the two dialogue segments. The enthusiasm ends up cut down in half as the main verses kick in, but the guttural vocals, tight guitars and rich drum fills help keep the listener engaged a little more. While a fantastic start, it all begins to degrade in speed dramatically up to and including the simple but effective guitar solo, which only leaves the group crawling across the finish line with their weakest, emptiest breakdown yet.

Holocaust Awaits isn't a bad album overall, but after a while the slower material does start to mesh together regardless of how well paced or fluidly it moves along. Even the many spoken word passages get tiring after a few spins, often making you think you blanked out at some point and you jumped back to "Weapon's Edge", or at the very least leave you disoriented with how far you've progressed through the release. It's also a shame there's so few energetic or aggressive songs before the couple that hit at the half way point. Songs like "Democratic Warfare" and "Holocaust Awaits" really lets the band show some additional range in a way that will wake the listener up a little more. Zero Gravity definitely stands out on their own despite the aforementioned Arch Enemy comparison, which seems to have been made more for the gender of their vocalist than the music itself, and with a little more time to hone their sound this five-piece from India may have enough to assert themselves as a powerful worldwide force to be reckoned with.

Review originally composed for Apoch's Metal Review.