Quick Review: THE ZENITH PASSAGE Solipsist
With The Faceless pretty much dead, it seems a newer, less innovative band is now taking their place. The Zenith Passage is comprised of former member of All Shall Perish, Fallujah, and yes, you guessed it, The Faceless. This four man technical death metal outfit from California has delivered an excellent technical death metal album full of speed, intricate incredible riffs, melodic flow, and extraordinary jazz portions, complete with excellent production which captivates a definitive mood. This may sound great, and quite frankly, Solipsist really shreds to the highest degree. Many people will love it, but unfortunately, my expectations were crushed.
Since The Zenith Passage released their EP Cosmic Dissonance in 2013, I have been excited to review their full-length debut. To my dismay, what Solipsist turns out to be is Planetary Duality part 2. It would not surprise me if Michael Keene granted permission for The Zenith Passage to pick up where Planetary Duality left off. The sad part is, this is not 2008 (if it were, this album would be more accepted). I don't care if you copy the guitar effects from Planetary Duality. My desire is to hear something with a new spin, not the B sides of an eight year old album. Complaint (and, yes, this is my only complaint, although it is massive) aside, this is a technical death metal gem. If The Zenith Passage get even just slightly more original on their next album, it could set new standards in the sub genre.
"Deus Deceptor" is one of the best tracks. There are some good hooks that carry through the song and tie it together nicely. The guitar solo is placed towards the end and captures a creative vigor, which helps with the waning pace as the closing seconds finally conclude with some synthesized sci-fi beams of static. This is a pleasant example of the talent and ability The Zenith Passage embodies. There are melodic portions sandwiched with guitar solos, rythmatic riffs, and creative vocal touches. If every song were this original, this album would be unforgettable.
I recommend this album as a good complement to Planetary Duality, so if you enjoyed that piece of work, buy Solipsist. For me though, it's going to take more than a doppelganger of a 2008 album to bring me back for multiple listens.