Pure Steel Records
Words: Craig Hartranft
The title for New York metal band Zandelle's latest and fifth long-player, Perseverance is rather appropriate. Appropriate for any band still trying to play classic heavy power metal, yet needing to duke it out in the metal underground to survive. More specifically, for Zandelle it's been nearly twenty years flying under the radar, and this is their first album of new material in six years.
But Perseverance finds the band fine formm, still delivering their version of American power metal. And power metal it is as most every song here moves at a brisk pace. Yet there are some songs that moderate the tempo like Beyond The Point, Innocence Lost, or the more notable Avenger of the Fallen, which has a momentum building progression that gives it a majestic feeling.
Something of additional interest is the enhanced keyboard use throughout the album. It can be something simple like the bright piano sound at the start of Revengeance. Or there's the classical piano feel that informs the first third of the opening instrumental, Resurgence. Sometimes the synths seem just a tad too quirky for heavy metal as at the start and within Beyond The Point. Another time, as in the center of End Game, the keys solo in a subdued symphonic sense. Also interesting to that song and that segue is the following short, yet fine, bass solo, then guitar, synths once more, and a flurry of drums to finish the moment.
Additionally, throughout, there's plenty of guitar solos, more crisp and stylized, then fierce, and often paired with keyboards once more as within Unending Fortitude, by example. This song is also an example of another significant characteristic of Zandelle: harmonious vocal arrangements, and every player in the band adds to the same. Something not all that common in heavy metal. However, it did seem, at times, George Tsalikis' vocals were a bit muted in the mix.
All in all, the result is plain. Perseverance is a fine return to form for Zandelle, offering both interesting and entertaining American power metal. Recommended.
Perseverance is a fine return to form for Zandelle, offering both interesting and entertaining American power metal. Recommended.
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