Review Summary: Immolation meets Finnish old school Death Metal
Zealotry from US releases a fascinating debut full-length titled ‘The Charnel Expanse’ paying tribute to the technical masterminds of the Death Metal genre – Demilich’s ‘Nespithe’, Adramelech circa ‘Psychostasia’ and Immolation in the late ‘90s. While every aforementioned band had its own aura, Zealotry are caught somewhere in the middle which doesn’t make it at par with any of them but it’s a commendable effort nonetheless.
Where this band shines is when it indulges in playing melodic leads and tunes, most notably in the second half of the album. Decaying Echoes has a sublime, haunting solo that stands out in your memory even when doing your chores. Unfortunately that can’t be said about most of the songs which are very competent and admirable for attempting to craft a form of music that is difficult to create.
The vocals are delivered in the manner of Immolation’s Ross Dolan without the thick voice, it’s still low and growled with enough conviction. The music has much depth that can be fathomed with multiple listens but it’s when it’s playing slower, dissonant parts that it really catches your attention. I like the fact that it completely eschews the “school” concept by creating music that is appreciable by the old schoolers as well as those into modern Death Metal – where music reigns supreme over trends.
‘The Charnel Expanse’ is one of the most interesting releases to have come out in this genre. While it isn’t original or innovative in any particular aspect, it’s great at what it’s trying to do – which is create beautiful, harmonic Death Metal.