Album Review : Hectic Zeniths - Hectic Zeniths

Hectic Zeniths’ self titled debut is the work of Brooklyn, NY native and current Philadelphia resident Adam Morgan Prince. His moniker is an anagram of Zeitschtichen, a German word meaning shifts in, or layers of time. This is an apt name for both the artist and the album, as each track is a richly layered, brooding soundscape.

Anyone who frequents QN5 Music’s forum will already be aware of what happens when Prince gets hold of a piano. Under the moniker ‘amplifya’, his take on CunninLynguists’ ‘The Light’ from the QN5 Rmx Vol. 2 EP (2006) was well received, whilst he also showcased his chops in a cover of ‘Gathered’ from Tonedeff’s Archetype (2005).

His album follows a loose formula and is successful for it. Most of the tracks are built around a melancholy piano section and either live or sampled drums. Added to this are vocal samples that work like added instrumentation, violins and a couple of tracks featuring guitar (‘Why Shoot Debris About It’ and ‘Zeitschtichen’), making a dark and sombre LP that is perfect for bumping in your headphones on a cold winter morning.

The intro, ‘One That Got Away’ sets the mood well, with reversed strings, a mournful vocal sample and playful beat, before segueing into the first piano led track, ‘Then and Now’. The album goes from strength to strength from there. ‘I Might Drown’, a standout among an album full of strong cuts, features an upbeat drum pattern that contrasts the subtle keys, haunting vocals that drift eerily in and out of the song and the dramatic bursts of violin. The subtle guitar in ‘Zeitschtichen’ compliments the piano and plodding beat well and an airy vocal weaving through the piece wraps things up nicely.

While never reaching their cinematic heights, Hectic Zeniths draws comparisons with Blue Sky Black Death or Emancipator, each known for creating rich and densely layered music. At eleven tracks long and clocking in at half an hour from beginning to end, some may feel it may be on the short side, but with each song containing so many elements, replay value will undoubtedly be high.

Hectic Zeniths will be released 10th January 2012, you can stream or pre-order the album now
I might drown by hecticzeniths

then and now by hecticzeniths