Review 1807 : The Zenith Passage – Datalysium – English

The sun rises for The Zenith Passage.

The band led since 2012 in the USA by Justin McKinney (guitar/vocals/drum programming, ex-The Faceless), and completed today by Brandon Giffin (bass, ex-The Faceless), Derek Rydquist (vocals, Bereft, John Frum, ex-The Faceless) and Christopher Beattie (guitar, Dreamer) announces the release of Datalysium, their second album, on Metal Blade Records in 2023.

After a few seconds of eerie silence, The Axiom of Error bludgeons us with a massive, complex and precise first riff, followed by raw vocal parts. The jerky sound still allows an airy solo to escape, leading us on to Algorithmic Salvation, which uses quite the same elements, but develops the musician’s aggressive approach and technicality, highlighted by an as heavy as clean mix. The composition is rather short, and followed by the equally effective Lexicontagion, which doesn’t waste a single moment in mixing its catchy moshparts with frantic riffs, but it also unveils a soaring break before returning to pure violence. We’re in for a short respite before Synaptic Depravation sweeps us away with a millimetric sound also playing with hazy, eerie dissonance and cosmic tones to counterbalance its naturally resurgent rage, followed by Deletion Cult, which puts the more extreme parts in the spotlight. A few keyboards round out the aggression, offering sci-fi touches in the company of transcendent leads, before Divinertia I offers a much darker, heavier sound, while keeping the the previous tracks’ liveliness. Divinertia II is initially slower and more suffocating, but the musicians don’t abandon the aggressive syncopated aspect complemented by bass harmonics and epic leads, before letting Automated Twilight accentuate the feeling of unease on this abyssal introduction. Keyboards, clean vocals and screams cooperate to create an intense sound, which is eventually overwhelmed by the usual brutal mix, then Prog roots take over again to welcome the vocal duo back, before they give way to Datalysium, the eponymous track, which closes the album with this worked and violent surge offering a place to each element in a very natural way.

The Zenith Passage is known for its musical quality, both in complex sonorities and pure violence, and the band confirms it with Datalysium, a thoughtful second album that pushes every note to the extreme while remaining incredibly coherent.


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