The Zenith Passage

Los Angeles’ The Zenith Passage debut Solipsist on presents a forty minute clinic of technical death metal.  Featuring former and current members of Fallujah, Oblivion, All Shall Perish and The Faceless these guys definitely have a great deal of time in on their instruments and that is demonstrated right away on the opening track  “Holographic Principle II-Convergence”.  Intricate fret board is demonstrated throughout most of the album and there is maybe a little Fleshgod Apocalypse influence in the way the clean vocals are used.  I like the way that they transition into clean section of the tune.  There is a lot of fusion of styles throughout Solipsist and it definitely has the feel of technical death metal record that has many influences in science fiction.

“Simulated Reality” opens up with almost a Behemoth feel and then builds into more of a west coast style tech death barrage that I would compare to Decrepit Birth or Deeds of Flesh.  There are also tinges of the influence of Cynic in the way the clean vocal parts are used throughout of this. Solipsist is a fun listen and can be at times maybe almost too over top with use of synth. . Luis Martinez drumming is top notch and relentless. Considering that this started off as just a collaborative project between the vocalist Greg Hampton and lead guitarist Justin McKinney it is quite impressive how well this album has come together. There is a lot of rhythmic riffs that remind me of Soreption or maybe even older Decapitated. For a debut full length Zack Ohren (Animosity, Suffocation, All Shall Perish et al) did stellar job engineering, mixing and mastering this album.

In what has already been a busy year for releases for Unique Leader Records, The Zenith Passage have definitely set the bar quite high as far as meticulous execution on a record. They have done an excellent job creating their own dimension of tech-death. They have created an aural multi layered assault with a unique and distinct ambiance.  The overall performances on Solipsist pretty jaw dropping. I can’t say there is any point of this album that I didn’t enjoy. If you are looking for well played over the top stuff this is it and sets the bar pretty high for the rest of the year.  This is one hell of a debut full length and I really look forward to what these guys release in the future. Brace yourself.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Nick K
April 20th, 2016


  1. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Im digging this. Definitely a Soreption vibe. I also hear some BTBAM. Really good use of clean/other elements. Almost as good as the First Fragment. Almost.

  2. Commented by: Nick K

    I need to listen to The First Fragment. The musicianship here is pretty over the top. You are totally dead on the Soreption vibe. Very mechanical picking. Hope these guys do make it on to Summer Slaughter Tour this year. I would like to see them pull this material off live.

  3. Commented by: E. Thomas

    The First Fragment makes this look like doom metal. its insane

  4. Commented by: Jordan Itkowitz

    been digging this, huge Faceless influence here

  5. Commented by: Kevin E.

    Man how the hell have I never heard of First Fragment? Looks like they have one EP and their debut full length coming out in a month.

  6. Commented by: Nick K

    I listened to the First Fragment record. Sounds like Augury or Quo Vadis playing Necrophagist songs. Some of the solos sound directly from Onset or Epitaph.. but maybe that is just me.. All and all great year for Tech Death so far..!

  7. Commented by: E. Thomas

    kevin- they have been around for years, bit not really active. heck there was 6 years between the ep and the upcoming album. Tougas getting’famous’ probably helped

  8. Commented by: Blake Solomon

    Hell Yes!!! Thanks for the heads up on both The Zenith Passage and especially First Fragment! Believe it or not, their Canadian webstore (IF Merch) still has physical copies of the First Fragment – The Afterthought Ecstasy EP from 2010 (limited to 500 copies) in stock. Just snagged a copy earlier today..already shipped with tracking…

  9. Commented by: Kevin E.

    Very nice. I still buy a ton of CDs and might pick that one up. Do they use an actual drummer or a drum machine? I can’t stand the latter and never buy albums with a drum machine.

  10. Commented by: E. Thomas

    Kevin – the drummer on the cd is Troy Fullerton of Severed Savior. The new drummer is the old Gorod drummer, samuel Santiago

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