To be honest whilst reviewing releases consistently it is not an irregular thing to be impressed by a band, album or particular song. It is much rarer though to be openly surprised and virtually awe struck by something. The debut EP from UK metallers Zoltar Speaks is one such rarity, a distinctly appetising and very pleasing treat. The Treatment EP is a mighty piece of metallic power and striking imagination which leads the senses through a fury of belligerent riffs, crushing rhythms, and classic guitar invention as well as introducing one of the best emerging vocalists in UK metal.
The quintet from Somerset first emerged in 2009 immediately grabbing attention and a devout following throughout the South of England and Wales with their impressive live show and the sharing of stages with bands like Malefice and Sworn to Oath. Their sound brings an irresistible blend of metal and rock into intensified adrenaline fuelled energy and senses igniting invention. With angry riffs and scorching mesmeric melodic play from guitarists Ollie Smith and Jason Coles, threatening lines from bassist Shane Yard, plus brutal rhythms from drummer Ben Dean smashing the ear into willing submission, their music explodes with strikingly impressive craft and ideas. On top of the stirring invention of the band the vocals of Louise Body grab the already submissive emotions and willing heart, lighting them up with a stunning ability and captivating power. Altogether the band remind a little of Skunk Anansie it is arguable if that band offer the complete and devastating unique pleasure that Zoltar Speaks offer on their EP, with no disrespect to Skin and co.
Released June 11th, the EP opens on A Metaphor and immediately floors the ear with towering melodic strikes and vicious riffs. It is a towering entrance but once the voice of Brody soars the air the song erupts to even loftier heights. Behind her hard to tear the ear from vocals, the music creates a brewing storm of muscular intent and formidable energy though it never truly explodes into the suggested devastation it teases up throughout.
That is soon addressed with the excellent How Could You Blame? The drums of Dean thump with a lingering resonance whilst the riffs carry a ravenous appetite to their venomous aggression. At times the song releases an unrelenting attack which is as infectious as you could wish and once the song hits the same insatiable addictive vein as Senser did in their early days with tracks like No Comply there is no losing the infection that has set in. The song persistently snarls and bites with a strong jaw and bestial tenacity for the fullest satisfaction.
The Best Revenge and Treatment complete the release with equal strength and quality. The first strokes with a melodic guitar beckoning before corrupting with bludgeoning riffs and stinging melodic ingenuity. Like the song before it the track takes bites out of the senses with sharp rampaging clusters of heavy riffs whilst triggering fires with its blistering white hot guitar conjurations. The closing title track reveals the other equally immense side of the band with a song flowing on a crest of melodic enterprise and poised craft, the band at ease and skilful at punishing or flooding the senses with intelligent and inventive melodic warmth. Not that the track is a soft touch, it still sears the flesh with harsh venomous backing vocals and twisted dark hearted riffs.
The Treatment EP is easily one of the best debuts heard this year and the first step in what one suspects will be the steep rise of Zoltar Speaks, surely a band that will eventually leave a long lasting and deeply impressive mark on metal.