Roman Remains is the side project of the Duke Spirit's Leila Moss and Toby Butler, and here they make music that sounds nothing like their main gig's brooding garage rock. Channeling acts like Skinny Puppy, Front 242, and Nine Inch Nails, the band's debut is as dark, dense, and foreboding as approaching rainclouds, its anxious synths and ominous beats serving as a backdrop for Moss' sinister vocals. From skuzzy electronics to noisy guitars, various sounds skitter and whir throughout like bugs in the walls, lending the music a menacing quality. The aptly named "Vulture Beat" seethes with animal intensity, its forceful machine drums powerful enough to chew through carrion. "Tachycardia" (a term referring to an elevated heart rate) features a vaguely Middle Eastern synth melody and corrosive bass pulses. Gorgeously gothic, Zeal is rewarding, if not exactly easy, listening. 

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