Riding high on a wave of critically-acclaimed singles, Zero Theorem delivers another must-hear release with The Killing II.

The digital age has brought us closer together than ever. In an instant, people from opposite corners of the world can connect, share ideas, and watch the same show on their favorite streaming service, all while looking at one another in real-time. But that connection comes at a cost, and rock band Zero Theorem urges people to consider the ramifications of our technological embrace with The Killing II.

But how can an EP accomplish such a feat? Scientists and philosophers have asked people to reconsider their relationship with technology for decades, but their cries often fall on deaf ears. Can a rock band achieve what so many others have not?

Typically, I would say no. The influence of rock is rarely as significant as musicians assume it to be, which is the genre’s fault. Years of groups churning out mindless calls to action that now double as the soundtrack to a sweaty gym session or an action movie montage has mostly killed whatever effect rock once had. So much of the rock music made in the last decade is a lazy variation of “fight to overcome, and then keep going” that it’s genuinely surprising when someone offering a different perspective on existence breaks through.

The men of Zero Theorem are that exception. Drawing from the blueprints of iconic bands such as Tool and Sevendust, Zero Theorem combines thought-provoking lyricism with forward-thinking instrumentation. Their songs harken back to another time when the driving force behind creativity was to shape minds rather than spoon-feed consumers well-meaning but ultimately meaningless tough-guy fodder. They’re not only asking for our attention but delivering music that, once heard, is impossible to deny. 

The Killing II is an expansive cinematic rock experience that keeps things heavy throughout. It’s the kind of album that reminds you of the power music possesses when used for something more than personal gain. You can lose yourself in this album, and in doing so, find a bit of escape from the hell that is our waking reality. I cannot promise it will change the world, but for rock fans willing to take a chance on something new, it might just change their lives.