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Zoltan - First Stage Zoltan CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.98 | 7 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars The biggest shock for me when I started to check out the background of this band and album was that Andy Thompson the owner and operator of the Planet Mellotron site that has been an invaluable resource for me for many years was actually part of this band. I knew Andy was in LITMUS but I had no idea that ZOLTAN was his current band with his brother Matt who many will know as being a founding member of GUAPO plus his many side projects. We also get Andrew Prestidge on drums. You should see the picture of the array of keyboards in the liner notes, or just check out Andy's site under the review for this album. They list 16 different items including Andy's M400 mellotron of course. This isn't a mellotron album by the way, oh it's on 4 of the 6 songs but Andy tried not to go overboard on it.

I have to say that the mood of this album fits my tastes perfectly. Tons of analog synths and electronics, sequencers, clavinet, rhodes, arps, roland, moog and on and on. The bass is in my face the way I like it and man there's some nasty synths on here that you'd think was fuzzed out bass and of course the atmosphere is ground shaking at times. It's dark, melancholic and powerful. This will go down as one of my all time Electronic albums no doubt. Cool album cover as well.

So 6 tracks and 41 minutes worth of pleasure right here. "Pilman Radiant" and all the titles of these tracks are from popular culture. And again I'm just trying to describe what I hear and with all the gear I'm sure I will make many mistakes. It opens with sounds that pulse as other electronics, and synths join in, mellotron too. A change after a minute as we get synths along with drums and a heavy sound. This is great! It settles back around 2 minutes and check out the mellotron before it kicks back in. Back to the previous soundscape as contrasts continue. I can't express how much I dig this. Synths and drums lead after 3 minutes then after 4 minutes we are back to our regular programming. What a way to start the album!

"Krollspele" starts with sequencers which is kind of cool as cymbals help out. Soon other synths swell and recede. Then a deep synth line kicks in with drums. Oh my! Synths start to cry out of this heavy rhythm. Spacey synths and bass follow. Love that bass but also those spacey synths. Check out the refrain 2 1/2 minutes in. No words! RUSH comes to mind here. Again just an incredible sound here with the bass and synths. That refrain is back after 5 minutes. So good that I'm moved. The sequencers from the start are back before 6 minutes followed by a powerful sound.

"Canali Replica" opens with powerful synths and soon drums are pounding away as growly synths join in. Some nice drum work here and I like the way the flavour changes slightly throughout with repeated themes. It settles back with bass and drums after 3 minutes as synths start to get inventive. Incredible! This song and the previous one are the only two without mellotron.

"Windowless Monad" opens with deep synth lines with electric piano and more as we get this repetitive sound out of the darkness. I like when the spacey synths and mellotron join in just before a minute. Suddenly a change after 1 1/2 minutes as we get pulsating sounds with spacey synths and mellotron. The synths almost swirl after 3 minutes.

"The Tall Man" opens with electric piano raining down as we get outbursts of bass, synths and drums. Mellotron after a minute as the drums and bass become more constant. Mellotron flute after 1 1/2 minutes then themes are repeated. Electric piano only before 3 1/2 minutes then check out that mellotron!

"Black Iron Prison" ends it and it's the longest by far at 14 1/2 minutes. Some static as it begins in a dark atmosphere as a sinister synth line joins in. Some suspense before 2 1/2 minutes then the bass and drums kick in around 3 minutes. Synths follow. I really like this stuff with that dark mood and repetitive beats with spacey synths coming and going. So good! The beats stop before 8 minutes as we get spacey sounds and lots of atmosphere. Drums return. Sequencers kick in just before 9 minutes. The sequencers and drums stop after 11 1/2 minutes as it turns avant. The sequencers are back around 12 1/2 minute along with the drums and synths.

A masterpiece of Electronic music right here and I can't wait to get my hands on their second studio album called "Sixty Minute Zoom". My kind of music and this went straight up to number 4 in my 2012 album list.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |


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