The Zenith Passage Pushes Singing, Synths, And Storytelling Forward With “Lexicontagion”

[Cover photo credit to Stephanie Cabral]

Los Angeles-based Progressive Death Metal practitioners The Zenith Passage will be releasing their new album Datalysium on July 21st, 2023 through Metal Blade Records, and have revealed the record’s cover art, first title-track single, and pre-orders. On this album, the band was determined to cover new territory.

The album features an overhauled lineup that sees original guitarist/keyboardist/backing vocalist Justin McKinney joined by guitarist Christopher Beattie (Dreamer), vocalist Derek Rydquist (ex-The Faceless, John Frum) and bassist Brandon Giffin (ex-The Faceless, Cynic).

The band elaborates on their new explorations:

There’s always been things that were subtly done on previous releases, like jazz fusion passages, dissonant black metal, synth, and orchestral elements, as well as singing. What we haven’t done before is put those influences and ideas more upfront in the songwriting and production. Singing has become a pretty prominent part of some of these songs, as well as synth orchestration and really eerie, dissonant, pissed off black metal influence. We’re doing all of this while attempting to tell a harmonic and lyrical story that keeps the listener engaged and wondering what could happen next.

Datalysium was recorded between McKinney’s home studio and Rydquist’s apartment, with some vocals tracked at Flatline Audio with Dave Otero (Cattle Decapitation, Wake), who also mixed the album.

McKinney handled the tracking, while they brought in Ryan Williams (The Black Dahlia Murder, John Frum) to Produce some of the bass and vocals.


5/16/2023 Full Circle Brewery – Fresno, CA w/ Allegaeon
5/17/2023 Old Ironsides – Sacramento, CA w/ Allegaeon
5/18/2023 Bossanova Ballroom – Portland, OR w/ Allegaeon
5/19/2023 Modified Ghost Festival – Vancouver, BC w/ Allegaeon
5/20/2023 The Big Dipper – Spokane, WA
5/22/2023 Ribald Brewing – Nevada City, CA
5/23/2023 Neck Of The Woods – San Francisco, CA

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