Formed in 2009, CalatrilloZ are a progressive symphonic rock/metal quintet hailing from London. Fresh out of a serious of successful UK shows, the operatic five piece are now ready to release their debut album ‘Palms of Zahyin’.
CalatrilloZ embrace a concept of theatrical personas stating that the band are “a circus troupe of wanderers”, complete with elaborate costumes, make-up, and incredibly detailed individual backstories. The lead vocalist of the group going under the name of Zahyin, says “Through Zahyin, through his universe, my compositions are free: Jazz, Metal, Classical, and Opera they all means nothing; there is no compromise.” going on to say “the only limitations I have are the ones I impose upon myself. None.” This is what is to be taken away from the concept. It is not simply a fantasy world created so that CalatrilloZ can masquerade in their detailed and well imagined story, it is also a gateway to musical freedom.
‘Palms of Zahyin’ brings together vast symphonic instrumentation, which sits somewhere between power metal and the glory days of NWOBHM, together with a classically infused vocal style its best described as a neo-classical metal opera. The lead track ‘I Am Alive’ calls to mind the sounds of artists such as Faith No More, Alice Cooper and at times you can even hear flourishes that are redolent of Mesmerize era S.O.A.D. Patton-esque vocal melodies augmented with uplifting instrumentation bring the track to its pinnacle before the guitars and drums bring the whole conformation back around again for another bout. ‘I Am Alive’ is somewhat of a nostalgia trip and a welcome journey back to classic rock and metal bands from the 1970’s and 80’s merged with pristine modern production and charmingly histrionic conceptual song writing.
The album as whole is as diverse as it is consummate. Tracks such as ‘A Glimpse At A Fools Destiny’ give way to the bands more extravagant side with Tim Burton-esque melodramatic and operatic vocals, and a more diverse instrumental accompaniment. Whereas ‘Z The Psychopath’ (named after the vocalists character Zahyin) displays the bands technical proficiency merging fastidious and melodic guitar tapping with an uninhibited vocal style which culminates in a prodigious and methodically orchestrated climax.
At a time where modern metal releases are becoming increasingly abrasive and discordant, CalatrilloZ bring something back to the table; flair. Whilst dramatic story telling and thespian performance is something that is still championed by power-metal bands such as Sabaton, Hammerfall and Powerwolf, the style remains a niche within the contemporary metal world, but the careful composition and deftness in which CalatrilloZ combine the copious elements that make up ‘Palms of Zahyin’ means that it will appeal to a much wider audience beneath the surface.