Zealotry
The Last Witness

I enjoyed Bostonian’s Zealotry’s 2013 debut, The Charnal Expanse.  I really enjoyed Defeated Sanity’s Lille Gruber’s drum work on the album.  It was some of the best of his career, regarding the progressive moments.  The new Zealotry brings in Alex Zalatan, as the drummer, and couples some more session musicans, but leaves Pat Tougas intact, as guitarist, and Mr. Roman Temin at the helm with vocals and guitar.

“Arc of Eradication” opens up this 8 song, over 50 minute album, and has some cool weird opening guitar riffing and it’s evident that the Demilich influences are still there.  Some very cool drumming and the guitar solo at the 2 minute part is pushed up quite a bit higher in the mix, a little too much, which makes the sound a tad uneven.  But the blasting and off kilter beats and Roman’s growls and Pat’s backing barks are gelling really well at this point.  Aodan Collins is listed as the session bassist and towards the end you can really hear this youngster’s bass plucking, coming through nicely.

“Yliaster” is another nicely done death metal song with well-done guitar melodies and bass strumming, that reminded me of Obscura, the band not the Gorguts album.  I am finding myself, by this point, similar to The Charnal Expanse how Zealotry are not for everyone, especially since rather than play in a fine line, they incorporate a lot of various elements.  They’re non-linear, poly-rhythmic dissonant sound can be a tough listen, for some.  The guitar solo at the 2:50 part is neat and then the slow groove section is just not typical sounding death metal.  It’s the kind of music that if you are a big fan of bands like Meshuggah, Ulcerate, Gigan, Demilich…. you understand these are not bands that instantaneously captures the average listener’s ears.  For me this thinking type of brutality is awe inspiring.  It forces the listener to pay attention to the dissonance and the originality and for that Zealotry are pretty goddamn original.

The title track, at over 8 minutes, begins in a Gorguts fashion with some outstanding bass guitar work, before going into a narrative vocal performance as if the performance is being spoken underwater. Listen to this beginning section on headphones.  It is wack a doo!!  But in a good way.  The song meanders along in a very similar path to the Gorguts song, “Clouded”.  Some drone going on, and the song is layered with thick heaviness, some quick blasting underneath the foggy heaviness and dastardly creepy crawly eeriness.

The Last Witness has a similar production, to that of the debut.  Organic, original, not over produced; however The Last Witness has cleared up some of the muddy production that plagued The Charnal Expanse.  With that being said, the instrumentation bites through a helluva lot more on this and with that and stronger songwriting, The Last Witness is a huge step forward.  I am truly digging this album and did not think it would impact me as much as it did.  Probably since I’m a huge fan of the bands that I also mentioned in this review is why I enjoy this album so much.  Zealotry has, thus far, released the most original sounding death metal album for 2016, alongside a pretty cool album cover.  Kick ass from start to finish!!

 

 

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
May 30th, 2016

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