Z-Order is a traditional metal band that reminds many of the heyday of classic, twin-guitar metal from bands such as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Metallica.
Z-Order was actually formed in 2011 after the debut album, Utopia, was mostly recorded. Ellefson is an instrumental guitarist who’d released several albums, with Utopia intended to be his fifth, but the first one with vocals. A local singer joined the project in 2009 and drummer Goetz was asked to perform shortly after. Goetz was a drummer in Division, a local metal band, but had also played rhythm guitar in Ellefon’s live band back in 2006-7. The two also played guitar together in an Iron Maiden tribute band, Seventh Son, in 2007-9.
Also in that cover band was bassist DeMarco, whom Ellefson had previously hired to play on his second album. Knowing DeMarco’s style worked well with the new songs for Utopia, Ellefson asked him to again play as a session bassist, but before DeMarco had a chance, the first signer abruptly quit. This led to a series of no less than four different singers, over three years, agreeing to perform all vocals only to quit partway through the project. In the meantime, the band could do nothing.
Eventually, Downey joined Z-Order in 2014. Long before then, Ellefson had returned to recording and releasing instrumental guitar albums and realized Utopia should be released under a different name.