Out of all the nations in the world, the United Kingdom easily has the most vibrant and quickly growing Technical Metal scene. It seems that great bands have been coming out of the wood works left and right. This may be due in part to the celebration of the glorious UK Tech Metal Fest with many great names and several great friends from across the globe attending year after year.
If one were to go looking for recent examples of said UK born greatness, the band Zealous would likely come across their desk. And with good reason…
“Zeal – noun – great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.”
“Zealous – adjective – full of, characterized by, or due to zeal; ardently active, devoted, or diligent.”
This is the first time I ever dragged out the dictionary while writing on this website. Not for ignorance of the terminology. Rather, it’s because I believe this band’s name fits them damn near perfectly. Zealous channels a high level of energy through their music that is hard to deny. I also believe this energy has the potential to be infectious throughout this particular music scene and maybe even beyond as they forge into their musical careers.
This band delivers a glorious Tech Metal type sound through the merging of several elements. Among these stand Metalcore, Progressive Metal, and a very modern / clean Djent approach. All of these elements collide in a way that is both fun and absolutely heavy hitting. In other words, prepare for some grooooovin’! It’s easy to envision the Zealous sound moving crowds of all sizes once exposed to the music. Mosh pits are just waiting to open up here…
All of this and more shows on the band’s self-titled debut which launched with the turn of this month. It packs in a total of 6 tracks while clocking in at 20+ minutes of quality content. You can experience this for yourself by checking out the album stream provided just above or by heading over to Bandcamp.
Something I noticed about this Zealous EP is that it ends stronger than it begins. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with the opening tracks… But listening to this Self-Titled EP is a trip as the band almost seems to evolve with every track with the final two, “Edge Of Forgiveness” and “Abduct”, being my personal favorites. Essentially, it begins with heavy hitting grooves and ends with more and more inventive riffing and musical ideas coming into fruition. Yet again, that’s not to say that these elements don’t appear throughout the entire listening experience. But there are moments especially on those last two tracks I had to remove my hat for.
I also have to say that the production on this EP is fantastic in a number of ways. The sound is MASSIVE at times which is actually what initially caught my attention about Zealous and caused me to reach out. And, even more so to their credit, the band recorded and produced the entire EP themselves! Kudos, gentlemen!
That’s not to say this is a perfect release by any stretch of the imagination. But it certainly is very good for what it is – maybe even great in some regards. The weakest link seems to be centered around a certain lack of originality. You can tell that they haven’t quite found a sound to call their own yet. However, the potential is high seeing as this is the band’s first ever release and it already has a good bit going for it. Another element that could use some improvement is the vocal delivery which seems to be two dimensional and somewhat odd in the mix at times.
That being said, this Self-Titled effort is very enjoyable on many fronts. It’s easy to picture people liking or even loving it. Just read the majority of this review for crying out loud! It also points to an exciting future for this blooming group of metallic talents. The bottom line is if you’re looking for something fun and absolutely heavy hitting, Zealous is likely the band for you. I’m feeling a strong 7.5 to a light 8 on this one.
Just to reiterate, you can stream the entire EP right here, right now through the YouTube link above! And if you dig the music as much as we did, you can pick up the goods over on Bandcamp! Any and all support for these musicians is well deserved. Stay Zealous!