It succeeds. They kick their début album off in epic style with Avatars of Contempt. A twisting, turning odyssey into the realms of horror; this is a very strong way to open an album and sets the scene perfectly.
Mere brutality is not enough for Zealotry, nor should it be as they are blatantly capable of delivering so much more. And they do; they make good use of eerie melodies as part of their sound and are clearly more interested in creating an atmosphere for the listener rather than just blasting them into submission. They also know when to utilise calmer moments of restraint amidst the Deathly goings-on.
This is a very musical album; one that you could imagine listening to if they released an instrumental version. The vocals are important though and elevate the album higher than would be possible for a purely instrumental version, but for me the emphasis of this album is squarely on the music, and specifically the guitars. These guys know how to play and use their talent to fashion some impressive atmosphere/emotion-based riffing that tells a tale without a single word. The swaying, winding riffs in Decaying Echoes – one gem amongst many.
This is one of those exceptional albums that I particularly enjoy because of the sense of being taken on a journey through the soundscapes to places unknown and sights unseen.
It’s a great feeling when you discover a band that is attempting to do something a little out of the ordinary with a genre, and it’s an even better feeling when they do it well. The Charnel Expanse is a success; now all it needs is a wider audience. Let’s see what we can do about that, eh?