FOR the past two years Zlatanera have been honing their songs on the live circuit, bringing a dark humour in lyrics and dark intent in their music. Now, they have wrestled their songs to the ground for their début album, 'Legerdemain'.
It could have been a disaster taking the live favourites into a recording studio. Thankfully it isn't a disaster, rather the five-piece have taken the stoner groove and the anger and brought a vitality to the sound.
From Andy's (Campbell) sheer determined vocals - such as on 'Hooked, Kicked, Hooked Again - through to the dynamic rhythm work of Anto on bass and Keith on drums the album rolls along with fierce power.
The live trio of 'Satanic' tracks - 'Master of Ceremonies', 'Bad Case of the Devil' and 'Idle Hand Sataniser' - have retained their tongue in cheek evil replete with the introductions that give them the feel of the best Hammer House of Horrors films.
Andy McCallister and Willie Caulfield's guitars intertwine and stab at the heart of the matter; where others sometimes isolate riffs and solos they compliment each other, such as on closer 'Advance of the Clodhoppers'.
The sheer size of the attack Zlatanera have amassed for the album is at times staggering. Stand-out track 'Holy Man's Crook' has been in the band's set since the off and harnessing that energy must have been a struggle for the band, but they have pulled it off.
Sure that are some minor niggles - at times the mix loses some elements - but they are very, very minor issues.
What 'Legerdemain' shows is that Zlatanera deserve a wider audience.
Review by Jonny
Legerdemain is launched at Limelight2 on February 27th.