28 Jan 2015

Zoltan "Sixty Minute Zoom"

Reviewed by Nathan Ford

Prolific London synth-botherers Zoltan (one of whom is also the fabulous Cremator) are back at it again with their second full length album for Cineploit Records.

It's been a few years since their debut, but they've kept extremely busy since then with various side-projects, and two shorter Zoltan releases based on horror films "Psychomania" and the "Blind Dead" series. These other projects gave the trio of Andy Thompson, Matt Thompson and Andrew Prestidge the opportunity to branch out and experiment with textures a little different to that of their core sound. "Sixty Minute Zoom" sees them return, fully focused to that core sound, and while their are definite similarities to their debut "First Stage Zoltan", "Sixty Minute Zoom" is a much more confident and expansive platter.

There are three names that you'll see mentioned in almost every Zoltan review - Goblin, Zombi and John Carpenter. Their influence is inescapable here, but Zoltan use these touchstones only as a starting point. The rhythmic complexities that Matt Thompson and Andrew Prestidge introduce add a whole new dimension here, providing a pleasingly cerebral edge which makes use of the more appealing aspects of progressive rock without allowing the opportunity for the tedious showboating that often makes prog such an acquired taste. There's a section in "Uzumaki" which is wholly reliant on Prestige's drums to enhance the drama of the main theme's first appearance. In the hands of most other bands this would fall flat, but it's one of many transcendent moments to be found on "Sixty Minute Zoom", culminating in the side long finale "The Integral", a carefully constructed mini soundtrack which is screaming out for an accompanying short film, if only Lucio Fulci were still with us.

A definite step up from their already excellent preceding works.

Available digitally below or physically here.

1 comment:

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