Boston five-piece progressive death metal band Zealotry, is back with their third full-length album, At The Nexus of All Stillborn Worlds, and it’s an all out assault.
Opening with the title track, the band wastes no time hammering out thunderous percussion fronted with wild, earsplitting guitars. The blitzkrieg presses deeper on “Lethe’s Stroud.” Vocalist R.M. Temin offers a diabolical growl. It isn’t clean but, at times, it comes through clean enough to capture both the gruesome effect as well as some of what he’s singing about.
The guitars on “Primus Venatoris” are classic, heavy metal knee benders. This track offers perhaps the cleanest sound on the album. Overall, the production values on the album are pretty decent. The band’s sound is keenly focused and dwells within a limited range. My favorite tracks on At The Nexus are by far “The Hole” and “Universal Deceit,,” which hits me in the vintage-era-Metallica soft spot. They’re less commercial with a more throat shredding, warding vocal style.
As much as I enjoyed At The Nexus, it features all of one gear. It’s really fast and heavy. However skilled the band is (this album leaves no doubt that they are proficient), the album lacks layers of complexity. There is a haunted tone given on the interlude, “Accursed,” which is a minute of spooky piano.
On the sprawling, 10-minute, epic, closing track, “Irredeemable,” it slows and morphs into a primordial sludge in the middle with a series of cascading, sung vocals before shambling out to the end. After repeat listens, I wanted more of the sounds Zealotry offered in those odd stretches.
On the next record, I would look for Zealotry to delve further into that morass. The few times they tempt a more mired and slower sound, everything else works quite well. A few of the songs tempt cooler ideas that just need some gasping room to fester.