Sicktus : Zealotry are an American trio, hailing from Boston and they deliver their second full-length with 'The Last Witness'. Their excellent debut 'The Charnel Expanse' was released in 2014 and colleague Pim gave that one some high praise. The band continue in the same vein and they keep improving.
Dark, heavy death that sounds somewhat similar to bands such as Sonne Adam, Adramalech, Immolation and has a big dose of the slower Morbid Angel stuff is what we get - and almost an hour's worth. Zealotry aren't just copycats though, they really put their own mark on the genre. Some passages remind of a darker, more heavy version of Ayreon's 'Into The Electric Castle', some tracks bring back memories of the slower, atmospheric Hypocrisy songs and a song like 'Progeny Omega' has an epic quality to it not a lot of bands manage to capture. Atmospherically, the album reminds me of Nocturnus a bit, although this has more to do with a feeling and less with the music in itself. Closer 'Silence' has hints of the acoustic, atmospheric parts on Dissection's 'Storm Of The Light's Bane'.
'The Last Witness' truly is a killer album which carries a lot of hidden gems in its hour of music. Powerful, dark, very well composed, tightly executed, detailed, full of complexity, weaving together thick layers and wrought with a good eye and skilled hand to be a whole that becomes more than the sum of its parts. Zealotry raise the already quite high bar a bit more with this release. Absolutely mandatory stuff if you are looking for high quality, dark death with a sound of their own. Colour me impressed! The three gentlemen of Zealotry get some help from Aodán Collins (bass, cello) on 'The Last Witness' and X.T. from the Canadian black metal band Gevurah does some guest vocals on the album's closer 'Silence'.