The Zenith Passage
It was in early 2012 that a small recording collaboration between two friends (Justin McKinney and Greg Hampton) began to coalesce into something that would prove to be well more than the sum of its parts. The Zenith Passage may have come about from humble beginnings in a stuffy Los Angeles apartment, but the produce thereof is anything BUT humble. Even the earliest demo tracks delivered a relentless torrent of technical guitar work accompanied by a distinctly frenetic and brutal vocal delivery that has since become an unmistakable hallmark in a scene that is all too often the victim of stagnation. Far from being strictly a shredfest, TZP also incorporates a thematic backbone that draws inspiration from the chaotic and awesome destructive powers of our universe. Progressive interludes invoke a palpable sense of abstract dread and reverence for things beyond mortal comprehension. The atmosphere created clearly nods to inspiration drawn from legendary acts such as Deeds of Flesh, Soreption, Fallujah, Severed Savior, and Aeon.
The project’s initial offerings generated enough buzz in social media circles alone to convince the duo to redouble their efforts in earnest, and to begin seeking out members to complete their lineup. This proved no small task in a saturated market, but persistent scouting over to following months precipitated the addition of friend and drummer Josh Slater (Aethere) into the mix. The subsequent release of a proper EP in January 2013 (entitled “Cosmic Dissonance”) catapulted TZP’s recognition to previously unprecedented heights, greatly broadening their fanbase, and catching the attention and admiration of some of California’s foremost metal musicians. Not long thereafter, it was announced that Rob Maramonte (ex-Fallujah) would also be stepping in to lend his talents and fill the role of second guitarist.
With the onset of all these new developments, and the lineup nearing completion, it seemed only natural to take the next step and join the ranks of those by whom they had been so heavily influenced. Thus, in the summer of 2013, TZP had the honor of signing on with Unique Leader Records for a multi-album deal. The stage is currently set for TZP to secure their foothold in topmost reaches of the metal pantheon, and they are hard at work churning out new content for their debut full-length. Rest assured, this marks only the beginning. The world has only just set foot onto the passage towards the pinnacle, the apex, the Xenith. BLEGH.