Sunday 31 July 2016

The Zenith Passage - Solipsist


1. Holographic Principle I: Emergence
2. Holographic Principle II: Convergence
3. Simulated Reality
4. Deus Deceptor
5. The Dissension Consensus
6. Dreamsphere
7. Hypnagogia
8. Metaphyiscal Solipsism
9. The Tenebrous Veil
10. Luminary Singularity

I've taken a few days out to catch up on real life, so this is the first time in the last few days that I've been able to sit down and write. The Zenith Passage and their recent album is one of intrigue for me. Released in April via the ever present Unique Leader Records (and the band themselves featuring current and ex-members from US death metallers The Faceless, Fallujah and All Shall Perish), it's been one that I've been meaning to get better acquainted with., especially as I seem to be getting more and more excited about tech-death/progressive music in general. 

As the album opener, Holographic Principle I: Emergence kicks in, I’m reminded of Transformers. A rather unnecessary pause breaks up the intro track and Holographic Principle II: Convergence. When the latter reaches full flow, it’s both heavy and technical yet something is missing. It’s like a meeting of superior minds that became corrupted by artificial intelligence. Simulated Reality is better but there’s too much electronic interference for me. I mean, it’s obvious that the musicians present on Solipsist are extremely talented, but their potential doesn’t fully come across because of over-production. Thankfully as you progress though the record it gets better and Deus Deceptor is an eight-bit dream (you’ll know what I mean when you hear it). The Dissension Consensus is by the far the most brutal song on the record so far, thanks in part to the utterly intense drumming. The song is also the most straight-forward tech death song on here, thanks to the lack of obvious effects and guitar playing that’s out of this world. I think I’m finally beginning to get this band!. Menacing atmosphere envelopes you during Dreamsphere, which is a bit like a semi-improv jazz number. After what seems like a breath of clean air, Hypnagogia snaps you back into reality with crazy time-signatures, deep bellowed screams and choral melodies. Add to that the typically brutal instrumentation and you’ve got a recipe for something uplifting and theatrical in equal measure. With Metaphysical Solipsism, The Zenith Passage has demonstrated the perfect example of straight-to-the-point modern death metal, condensed into three minutes. Penultimate song The Tenebrous Veil takes use of triggers to the max, but is rescued by strong riffing and lead work. It finishes with a weirdly ambient piano section and effects that could have been straight out of a sci-fi computer game. It flows into album closer Luminary Singularity, which is one last intense blast of technicality. At first, I didn’t warm to this record but the more I listened to, the better it sounded. I’m still going to say that Cerebric Turmoil is the best technical death metal band I’ve reviewed so far but The Zenith Passage certainly has a lot to offer and fans of technical death metal will enjoy this. 

Stream and download Solipsist via Unique Leader's bandcamp page below:-

Grab cd, vinyl and merch packages here -

The Zenith Passage Facebook -
Unique Leader Records Facebook -

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