Cine 11 Zoltan “Sixty Minute Zoom”

George Pacheco / Boston Examiner

Zoltan rise as cream of the neo-synth revival crop

The UK progressive synth group known as Zoltan have been turning heads since arising in 2010 as one of the most interesting projects signed to a then-fledgling Austrian label by the name of Cineploit Records.

Fast forwarding four years later, both Zoltan and Cineploit are hitting a creative stride in their partnership, as the Sixty Minute Zoom LP will strongly attest. This sophomore effort from Zoltan follows up an EP for famed British doom label Rise Above-an audio take on director Amando De Ossorio’s classic Blind Dead series of horror films-as well as a Cineploit-released tribute to John Cameron’s score to the equally iconic Seventies film Psychomania, while at the same time leaving nearly every prior release from the band in the proverbial dust, so epically addictive and immensely blissful is this sound.

Sixty Minute Zoom takes the building blocks of influence carved from the likes of film composer Fabio Frizzi, Italian prog giants Goblin and Pittsburgh duo Zombi and erects here a monument to their own creativity and unique compositional eye. Indeed, every aspect of Sixty Minute Zoom sounds more focused, confident and actualized as keyboardist Andy Thompson, bassist/keyboardist/guitarist Matt Thompson and drummer Andrew Prestidge lock into each others’ musical strengths and unleash what is most certainly the defining Zoltan release up until this point in the band’s career.

Highlight tracks such as “The Ossuary” pulse with a malevolent bass drone and swirling, atmospheric synth, while the album’s epic, twenty minute closer “The Integral” moves effortlessly between horrifically mood-setting soundscapes and low key electronic experimentation, anchored by an absolutely amazing drum performance from Prestidge. The drummer’s lock-tight groove at the thirteen minute mark through the track’s sizzling finish is bested perhaps only by the subtly powerful groove Prestidge hits upon as the Thompson’s growling synth stabs lift the opening movements of “The Integral” as the best soundtrack theme never featured for an Italian horror or giallo film.

No hyperbole or exaggeration here: Sixty Minute Zoom demands immediate attention from electronic music fiends and Eurocult soundtrack buffs the world over, as it bucks the late year trend as one of the finest albums of 2014.

Marcus Stiglegger/Ikonen Magazin/ DEADLINE – DAS FILMMAGAZIN

Antonius Block ist der Ritter aus Ingmar Bergmans DAS SIEBENTE SIEGEL, der Schach mit dem Tod spielt. Er gab dem ersten Stück des neuen Albums der britischen Band Zoltan den Namen, und der Pakt mit dem Tod bleibt hier präsent: John Carpenter-induzierter Psychedelic Rock mit treibenden Drums und klagenden Synths ist bei Zoltan Programm.

Das zweite Stück “Uzumaki” (Spirale) ist inspiriert von japanischer Horrorfiktion, in der die Welt von spiraligen Formen absorbiert wird. Wie ein spiraliger Wirbel entwickelt sich das pulsierende Stück, umschlingt den Hörer förmlich in suggestiven Synthkaskaden.

“Table of Hours” bleibt im elektronischen Bereich und entfaltet ein dichtes Phasing, das unweigerlich an Horrorsoundtracks der späten 1970er Jahre erinnert (BOOGEYMAN z.B.).

Das filigrane Melodiefragment aus “The Ossuray” geht bald über in ein fatalistisches Gesamtkonstrukt, dem man die Inspiration durch 70er Italoscores deutlich anmerkt. Und doch kommt etwas eigenes heraus – dicht und spannend.

“The Integral” ist das Opus Magnum des Albums. Geheimnisvoll, flirrend, von einer künstlichen, finsteren Schönheit. Hier kehrt die verunsichernde Atmosphäre der klassischen Slasherfilme zurück, steigert sich in treibende Beats und erschöpft sich in eine zügig fließenden Melodie. Hier zeigt man sich ebenso von Tangerine Dream wie Pink Floyd inspiriert, ohne dass die Sounds verbraucht wirken.

Zoltan gehen ihren Weg als Postrockband mit Retro-70s-Twist unbeirrt und überzeugen auf einem ästhetisch reizvoll und hervorragend produzierten Album. Im besten Sinne unzeitgemäß.

Dusty Groove Chicago USA

Really great work from Zoltan – easily one of the best groups to work in the retro soundtrack underground – always with a sound that really gets things right! This album’s got a feel that’s every bit as rich as it’s striking cover image – a spooky, eerie approach to the music that makes everything feel slightly off and unsettling – the way that the best Italian horror scores can do, especially those gems from the time when electric guitar and keyboards were making big inroads! These guys share a bit of Goblin’s aesthetic, but definitely have their own vibe – one that’s much more cinematic, despite the fact that the record isn’t truly a soundtrack at all. Maybe the best from Zoltan so far – with titles that include “The Ossuary”, “Table Of Hours”, “Antonious Block”, and the extended suite “The Integral”.  © 1996-2015, Dusty Groove, Inc.