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Zanister Fear No Man
Ethan Nahte, Contributor
Monday, July 16, 2001 11:50 AM

David T. Chastain has as many bands as cats have lives. The uber-guitarist has his heavy metal project, Chastain, that features a female vocalist, he has his solo jazz/fusion work under his own name, he has his other metal project known as CJSS, his blues band, Southern Gentlemen, and he has his rocking heavy band known as Zanister. This doesn't include the fact that he runs his own label and has a handful of extremely talented guitarists signed to it as well.

One of those talented guitarists Michael Harris, who appears on Fear No Man. This is the second Zanister album. The first album was considered by many critics to be one of the best metal albums ever. Fear No Man challenges that first album with the superb musicianship that the band has recorded across the U.S.A. Chastain wrote and recorded all of his parts in his Atlanta studio. Harris and longtime bassist, James Martin, recorded their parts at Michaels Psycosound studio in Dallas. Brian Harris, Michaels younger brother, recorded his pounding drums in Cincinnati (where Leviathan Records was born), and Brian Sarvela laid down his vocal tracks in Boston. Oh, the marvels of modern technology to let a band record an album so professionally in so many places, all to be mixed down at Chastain's studio.

Any metal fan unfamiliar with Chastain or Harris work together or solo projects should be flogged for being ignorant. Blazing guitars, rockin melodies and more riffs than you can shoot down with a machine gun fill their music, and this album is no exception. Chastain writes all of the songs, occasionally getting a hand from Ted Brasier and Sarvela. The first album, Sarvela came in after it was written. This time around, he got to participate, helping to make him sound at ease since its more of his style.

Kevin White-Harder Beat (Dallas, Texas)
Zanister - Fear No Man
Leviathan Records

Nothing encapsulates the fusion of grace and power more than progressive metal music. And no one in the world is more adept at the art than David T. Chastain. For the second time, the guitar legend has teamed up with vocalist Brian Sarvela, drummer Brian Harris and local phenoms, Michael Harris (guitar) and James Martin (bass) to form the apex of prog metal, Zanister. Eleven tracks, each more intense than the last, explore the musical boundaries of metal music like never before. Tracks like "The Shades They Color Thee," "Hell On Earth," "Generation Breakdown" and the highlight, "Got To Live My Life" are as catchy as they are awe-inspiring in their musicality.

Label: Leviathan Records
Title: Fear No Man

Zanister is progressive metal at it's very best!. That's as simple as I can put it. From the guitars to the lyrics to the vocals to the driving rhythms, every second of this album is amazing. Utilizing the best from the ages of metal, Zanister has created a sound that is simply breathtaking. Metal fans should be drooling over this album. I was so impressed with the guitar work and the structure that the music was built on that I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I found myself sitting for hours listening to this CD over and over. This is absolutely one of the best metal CD's that I've had the opportunity to review. Definitely the top of the heap as far as progressive metal goes. Fear No Man comes highly recommended!

Zanister - "Fear No Man" (Leviathan)
Reviewed by: Paul Hanson (

Is there a genre guitarist David T. Chastain can not try? After recently completing a blues project, then moving on to a progressive metal band (CJSS), Chastain doesn't keep fans guessing long as to what his next project will be. This time around, he recruits a bassist and guitarist from Dallas, his own guitar parts were recorded in his studio in Atlanta, the drums were recorded in Cincinatti, the vocals in Boston, MA. When you consider how this release came together, you'd have to think, "This will be simple metal without a lot of intricate parts." You'd be wrong. Zanister sounds as if they were in the same room playing live. There are intricate syncopated parts between the bass, guitar, and drums that are incredibly tight. Chastain and guitarist Michael Harris compliment each other. Drummer Brian Harris contributes some sharp double bass chops without being overpowering and then there's vocalist Brian Sarvela. Halford? Dickinson? Geoff Tate? All three come to mind when hearing Sarvela's highs and lows. Second track "You Live for Greed" is a down and dirty mid-tempo romp. The musical highlight, without a doubt, is track 7 "Hell on Earth." An even slower tempo (think "When the Levee Breaks") allows the musicians to stretch out. Upon what sounds like quarter note triplets, the guitar solo adds a new level to the sound. This is an outstanding track. Sarvela is in excellent form as well. Zanister appears to be a studio product but these songs deserve to be brought to the people.

Andy G of CD Services/UK

A whacking great right hook between the eyes greets you as you put this album on to get assaulted by one dynamite band and one smoking gun of an album. Remarkable for the double rifle power guitar section of not only David T Chastain but also Michael Harris, this is one sizzling, riff-laden, guitar-driven, metal-fest as band and vocalist give it all they've got and deliver to perfection. If this band boxed, they'd be world champions in the blink of an eye, for not only do they have musical fire, they have lyrical bite and attack as well, as songs develop that are more than a cut above yer average metal subject matter, with lyrics to make you think as you rock. The vocalist has a sort of semi-sung/hollered style but the slightly gravely tones fit the compositional mood like a glove, as guitars blaze, rhythms pound and solos soar and burn. This is a corking album and no mistake, with a range of paced tracks from metallic bluesy through double-drum-driven metal monsters from a class and quality rock act, and an album that really fires you up.

Alan Gilkeson - your Guide to: Heavy Metal
4 Stars- A classic! A must have record.

Zanister- Symphonica Millenia (Leviathan Records )
Another collaboration between guitar geniuses David T. Chastain (Chastain, CJSS) and Michael Harris (Arch Rival), this record marks another highlight in their respective careers, powerfully spewing forth pure Metal. For me it's one of those rare records that captures the reason I got into the Metal music in the first place. It's powerful, close to thrash at times, and melodic, but most importantly the musicians are incredibly diverse.
I was totally surprised by Michael's brother Brian on the drums, a ferocious and dominating percussionist, ripping through some incredible rhythms with bassist James Martin. Chastain and M. Harris of course provide their signature guitar sounds but it doesn't move beyond the spirit of the band concept. It's not a guitar show at all, rather intelligent compositions in which the guitar parts are contained. Vocalist Brian sarvela is excellent with great range and emotion.
Hopefully this album does well enough that this band can get around the states a bit, if for no other reason than to witness an incredible musical aptitude. Zanister's Symphonica Millenia provides us with the mastery of Metal, anthemic at times, as well as deep and introspective, full of head banging dominance and exquisitely polished.
4 Stars

Rock Brigade August issue (#157). Critic Ricardo Franzin wrote(freely translated):

"(...) Together in Zanister, Chastain and Harris comitted one of the most inspired power metal works to be done by an american band in the 90's. In this CD you'll hear magnifcient riffs, magical solos, a powerful rhythm section, melodic vocals and an infinitly harmonic imagination, which gives the excellent tracks Fighters In The Sky, Will Bring glory Tonight (almost Thrash Metal), Save Me Now (great chorus!), Born In Cold Blood and The Evil Will Survive a powerful sound pratically unequaled, which will force the listener to bang his head while the CD is playing. It should be pointed out thet Zanister was born playing a unique power metal, I mean, full of originality and new ideas - something only the very fine and experienced musicians can make in good terms. Zanisters members have plenty of those qualities. So, why haven't you already bought yourself a copy? A real magical CD."

The French Connection
Album:Symphonica Millennia Style:Heavy symphonic Metal-
Leviathan Records

On my left, the brilliant guitar hero, Michael Harris. On my right, the multi talented Us guitar hero David T. Chastain. The combinatin of both best guitar player has already be put on Cd with the famous live album Chastain/Harris. But here, the 2 guitar player write new songs ( Mark Shelton from Maniall Road also collaborates on one song "The Edge of sanity"). The musical area delivers here is pure heavy symphonic metal. Helped wth a very good singer , both powerful & aggressive, Zanister recored 10 excellent songs. Each guitar player gets his own style & their combination is amazing. Mickael Harris is maybe a little more technical than David T. Chastain, but this one is probably more original. So, instead of showing a kind of confrontation, a " guitar fight", "Symphonica Millennia" presents 2 complementary musicians. When you know how good their respective carrers are, you can imagine how is the result. Between evident melodies & musical beauty, Zanister releases a brilliant album. Simply the best heavy metal album ever released !


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