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ZOLTAN

Progressive Electronic • United Kingdom


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Zoltan biography
Outstanding trio coming from London, in the realms of moody cinematic synthscapes, inspiring vintage proggy soundword. The missing link between Goblin, Fabio Frizzi, Stelvio Cipriani, Clearlight and John Carpenter with a touch of of alien-like sounding electronic psych instrumentalism. They release their first masterful blissed-out heavy rockin electronic album on Cineploit.

Similar bands in the archives : Goblin, Zombi, Igra Staklenih Perli, Flamen Dialis (...)

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ZOLTAN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ZOLTAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 6 ratings
First Stage Zoltan
2012
3.21 | 5 ratings
Sixty Minute Zoom
2014

ZOLTAN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ZOLTAN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ZOLTAN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

ZOLTAN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
Psychomania - A Tribute to John Cameron
2013
4.00 | 1 ratings
Tombs of the Blind Dead
2014

ZOLTAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 First Stage Zoltan  by ZOLTAN album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.00 | 6 ratings

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First Stage Zoltan
Zoltan Progressive Electronic

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

5 stars The biggest shock for me when I started to check out the background of this band and album was that Andy Thompson the owner and operator of the Planet Mellotron site that has been an invaluable resource for me for many years was actually part of this band. I knew Andy was in LITMUS but I had no idea that ZOLTAN was his current band with his brother Matt who many will know as being a founding member of GUAPO plus his many side projects. We also get Andrew Prestidge on drums. You should see the picture of the array of keyboards in the liner notes, or just check out Andy's site under the review for this album. They list 16 different items including Andy's M400 mellotron of course. This isn't a mellotron album by the way, oh it's on 4 of the 6 songs but Andy tried not to go overboard on it.

I have to say that the mood of this album fits my tastes perfectly. Tons of analog synths and electronics, sequencers, clavinet, rhodes, arps, roland, moog and on and on. The bass is in my face the way I like it and man there's some nasty synths on here that you'd think was fuzzed out bass and of course the atmosphere is ground shaking at times. It's dark, melancholic and powerful. This will go down as one of my all time Electronic albums no doubt. Cool album cover as well.

So 6 tracks and 41 minutes worth of pleasure right here. "Pilman Radiant" and all the titles of these tracks are from popular culture. And again I'm just trying to describe what I hear and with all the gear I'm sure I will make many mistakes. It opens with sounds that pulse as other electronics, and synths join in, mellotron too. A change after a minute as we get synths along with drums and a heavy sound. This is great! It settles back around 2 minutes and check out the mellotron before it kicks back in. Back to the previous soundscape as contrasts continue. I can't express how much I dig this. Synths and drums lead after 3 minutes then after 4 minutes we are back to our regular programming. What a way to start the album!

"Krollspele" starts with sequencers which is kind of cool as cymbals help out. Soon other synths swell and recede. Then a deep synth line kicks in with drums. Oh my! Synths start to cry out of this heavy rhythm. Spacey synths and bass follow. Love that bass but also those spacey synths. Check out the refrain 2 1/2 minutes in. No words! RUSH comes to mind here. Again just an incredible sound here with the bass and synths. That refrain is back after 5 minutes. So good that I'm moved. The sequencers from the start are back before 6 minutes followed by a powerful sound.

"Canali Replica" opens with powerful synths and soon drums are pounding away as growly synths join in. Some nice drum work here and I like the way the flavour changes slightly throughout with repeated themes. It settles back with bass and drums after 3 minutes as synths start to get inventive. Incredible! This song and the previous one are the only two without mellotron.

"Windowless Monad" opens with deep synth lines with electric piano and more as we get this repetitive sound out of the darkness. I like when the spacey synths and mellotron join in just before a minute. Suddenly a change after 1 1/2 minutes as we get pulsating sounds with spacey synths and mellotron. The synths almost swirl after 3 minutes.

"The Tall Man" opens with electric piano raining down as we get outbursts of bass, synths and drums. Mellotron after a minute as the drums and bass become more constant. Mellotron flute after 1 1/2 minutes then themes are repeated. Electric piano only before 3 1/2 minutes then check out that mellotron!

"Black Iron Prison" ends it and it's the longest by far at 14 1/2 minutes. Some static as it begins in a dark atmosphere as a sinister synth line joins in. Some suspense before 2 1/2 minutes then the bass and drums kick in around 3 minutes. Synths follow. I really like this stuff with that dark mood and repetitive beats with spacey synths coming and going. So good! The beats stop before 8 minutes as we get spacey sounds and lots of atmosphere. Drums return. Sequencers kick in just before 9 minutes. The sequencers and drums stop after 11 1/2 minutes as it turns avant. The sequencers are back around 12 1/2 minute along with the drums and synths.

A masterpiece of Electronic music right here and I can't wait to get my hands on their second studio album called "Sixty Minute Zoom". My kind of music and this went straight up to number 4 in my 2012 album list.

 Tombs of the Blind Dead by ZOLTAN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2014
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Tombs of the Blind Dead
Zoltan Progressive Electronic

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars Zoltan are a UK trio who cross Goblin-like eerie synth sounds with progressive-electronic atmospheres. They put out a phenomenal debut back in 2012 with `First Stage Zoltan' (an album in serious need of more attention), and they've followed it up over the last couple of years with the full-length `Sixty Minute Zoom' in 2014 and a series of EP's of interpretations of obscure horror movie soundtracks. First up was 2013's `Psychomania' from 1972 ("The greatest and grooviest British zombie biker movie ever made" boasts the DVD cover, surely a crowded sub-genre!) and offered an adaption of music from the `Phantasm' movies in 2016, a series that always had an incredible Mellotron-driven theme to rank alongside the best horror movie scores. But in between in 2014 came this tribute LP to a series of cult horror films, one that works as both a respectful companion piece to the films its based on, but also stands as a creeping and eerie progressive-electronic, experimental/ambient and darkly symphonic work in its own right.

`Tombs of the Blind Dead' was a Spanish-Portuguese film from 1972 that spawned three sequels and revolved around a group of reanimated Templar Knight corpses hunting down victims who have stumbled upon the ruins of an abandoned monastery where they were buried. The corpses are blind, because their eyes were pecked out by birds while their hanged bodies rotted on the gallows after being put to death for witchcraft and heresy in the 14th century! The first film is the iconic one, and although its probably not a particularly coherent or even well-acted example of the genre (but forget the acting, tune in for the small role from gorgeous actress María Elena Arpón, who went by the stage name of Helen Harp in this particular film, a stunning girl!), the unique concept coupled with fascinating slow motion footage of the corpses shuffling through the ruins tracking down their victims by sound alone proved deeply hypnotic, and it had a shocking and violent finale where the Knights raid a train full of innocent people. The sequels were hit and miss but all had their moments, and they enjoy a small but devoted following amongst horror movie fanatics.

Zoltan's vinyl only EP of the same name adapts four pieces, one from each film. Opener `Tombs of the Blind Dead' is a brooding storm of groaning gothic cries and cutting Mellotron slices over a constant stop/start monolithic pounding drumbeat, and `Return of the Blind Dead' is a trudging Mellotron theme over dreamy electric piano shimmers. The urgent and up-tempo `The Ghost Galleon' races along with thick chugging bouncing bass and psychedelic bleeding electronics sounding not unlike the final minutes of `Dr. Frankenstein' off Goblin's classic `Roller' album from 1976, and `Night of the Seagulls' opens as a lurking nightmarish soundscape of faraway creeping spectral organ and humming fuzzy droning distortion before lurching into an infernal plodding early King Crimson-like searing Mellotron march - intense stuff!

`Tombs of the Blind Dead' will appeal to dark prog freaks who enjoyed Morte Macabre's 1998 Mellotron-fuelled classic `Symphonic Holocaust', the classic albums of Goblin and fans of Fabio Frizzi's soundtrack works. Most of the tracks are more chilling sound collages than actual tunes, but it all works to great effect and maintains a consistently gloomy, disorientating and overwhelming atmosphere, with the stylish sleeve notes and a striking vinyl presentation overall making for a very alluring set. Resistance is futile, simply give in and be consumed by the Blind Dead!

Four stars.

 Sixty Minute Zoom by ZOLTAN album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.21 | 5 ratings

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Sixty Minute Zoom
Zoltan Progressive Electronic

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

3 stars That retro feeling lingers on.

UK's ZOLTAN conformed by keyboardist Andy Thompson, bassist/keyboardist/guitarist Matt Thompson and drummer Andrew Prestidge, released in 2014 "Sixty Minute Zoom". This trio announces proudly its connection to film oriented music rootings but for us prog electronic followers, long gone HELDON's like style will turn out to be a close to home best reference. In fact if such a thing as a French Progressive Electronic sub-genre existed in this PA's electronic archives, this release certainly will fit in. Kind of strange and funny that a UK's band sounds French.

Anyway, cinematic music, in my opinion, has got to have doses of drama, yet be enticing and imageless at the same time. Too much ado about nothing certainly adds nothing. So let me introduce you to this work, Zoltan's second release (not counting a previous EP).

Music composition wise, as they advertise, do not expect a unique or detached from influences, musical language. Its creative energy is focused into performing already done ideas and blending these influences into an entertaining, unpretentious, somewhat innocent Electronic Rock trio album.

The good news is that now you privileged reader will know before acquiring this work if you find joy in a revival of retro-like 70s, early 80s French Electronic Prog nowadays. The bad news is that this band is on the making and it still sounds like that more than once. Meaning they still are not focused enough, music composition wise. as to really take a more experimental and daring dive as those HELDON guys did in their own life span, for example.

Nevertheless some amusing and creative sounds are found here and there, yet far from essential, it still promises a better release in some way or another.

***3 PA stars.

 First Stage Zoltan  by ZOLTAN album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.00 | 6 ratings

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First Stage Zoltan
Zoltan Progressive Electronic

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Unique keyboard-based Electronic/Space Prog trio from London, born in 2010 through the collaboration of brothers Andy and Matt Thomspon and drummer Andrew Prestidge.All three were experienced musicians, coming from notable bands, for example Matt Thompson was a long-time member of the Avant Rock act Guapo plus Andy runs the ''Planet Mellotron'' website.Having a collection of vintage keyboards, Andy decided to put them in use via Zoltan and in 2012 the first album of the trio ''First stage Zoltan'' was launched in vinyl and CD formats by the Cineploit label.

A nice example of dark, emphatic and cosmic Electronic Prog, ''First stage Zoltan'' is primarly led by the powerful keyboards of Andy Thompson, complemented by the drum beats of Prestidge and the decisive, marching bass lines of Matt Thompson.The use of analog synthesizers, Mellotron and spacey electronics along with the sinister, cinematic soundscapes can only be found in the old albums of GOBLIN, with whom the English trio can be best compared to.The album has a strange, rhythmic pulse, an odd electronic enviroment and a certain tense towards experimentation with double and triple keyboard and electronic manifests, broken in different variations with either bombastic or more hypnotic deliveries, but the result is always grandiose and highly atmospheric.No Classical influences or jazzy flirting, although the mighty Mellotron provides some nice orchestral tunes.This is linked more to the Horror Film soundtracks of GOBLIN or the close-connected LIBRA with just a dash of acoustic guitars, as the whole thing has been left in the hands of Andy Thompson and his mood for neurotic, haunting keyboard lines.''Black iron prison'' is a bet for the trio, offering some 14 minutes of continuous electronic experiments and keyboard flashing, the result is not always convincing, but the material is definitely impressive and atmospheric with loose segments and cosmic orientations in the vein of German EM.

For fans of Goblin, Electronic and Soundtrack Music.Ferocious keyboard masturbations of the analog era, balancing between structure and experimentation.Good and recommended stuff.

Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition.

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