Zoltar Speaks are a metal band from Somerset that fuse a sound similar to that of Avenged Sevenfold with a more modern streak that brings to mind Panic Cell and Lamb of God. The difference is the band favour singing instead of screaming and their vocalist Louise Body definitely takes some cues from In This Moment’s Maria Brink. The band released their debut album ‘Save As I Save’ at the tail-end of last year and now they’re gearing up to give it a wider release in April.
‘Save As I Save’ is formed from a nice blend of modern and classic metal that is lead by the accomplished guitar work of Daniel Pratt and Jason Coles. The two guitarists become the most enjoyable element of the band’s sound and it’s clear that they have the ability to deliver a great series of thrashy riffs. Songs like ‘I’m Coming’ and ‘Cannot Be’ are also given some rather impressive solos which really set them apart from a lot of the other songs on the record.
Outside of the extremely polished guitar work we start to enter some problems. The main issue that plagues ‘Save As I Save’ is it all sounds a bit flat. Vocalist Louise Body is nothing special to listen to and while she can certainly hold a note she often finds her comfort zone and sticks with it. This means a lot of higher range melodies that all sound very similar from song to song. The real problem with Body’s voice is when she decides to scream. Body sounds like a woman doing an impression of a metal scream and the noise that comes from her mouth sounds like it’s coming from her throat and not her diaphragm. It’s not a pleasant noise to listen to and if she really is using her throat then she’s going to cause herself some damage in the future.
The real casualty of the album’s rather limp delivery is Simon Roocroft’s bass which is so low in the mix you can barely hear it. ‘Save As I Save’ is a record that could desperately use a heavy dosage of bass to help punctuate the riffs and the drum work to make the whole listening experience feel brighter and more energetic. What you get instead is an album that’s under-produced, one-dimensional and delivered in the most passable way possible.
Zoltar Speaks are clearly a group of fairly talented musicians because outside some unnecessary metalcore chugga-chuggas like in ‘I Can, I Can’t’ there is a fair amount of decent melodies, riffs and and solos on offer throughout their debut album ‘Save As I Save’. Their main problem is their rather mediocre delivery which lacks the power and intensity that a lot of their peers are managing. This leads to an unfortunate vibe of averageness that means ‘Save As I Save’ will likely get listened to once and then stuck on a shelve for many years to collect dust.
Zoltar Speaks’ ‘Save As I Save’ is out now and available to buy on CD direct from the band.