Zoroaster – Matador
Release Date: 2010Jul13
Label: E1 Music
There are plenty of Metal fans out there that worship Sleep. Many of these same folk also have great reverence for both of the bands birthed from its dissolution: Om and High on Fire. And I never thought I wanted to hear a happy medium between that divide, yet that is exactly what Zoroaster delivers.
Zoroaster emerges with a didjeridu-esque guitar tone before working in dark chants through thick grooves. While it serves as a good introduction to the band, the over-exuberant drum fills get away from skinsman Dan Scanlan, which is distracting. “Ancient Ones” charges harder, with some of my favorite vocal harmonies here, plus hints at the blackened touches to come.
“Odyssey” loosens things up with easy head nods and smooth croons, but gets downright frenetic building up to the third minute, crescendos nicely, then brings the song back full circle. “Trident” strips it down to short and dirty, with a fist-pumping chorus that makes it single-worthy. I wasn’t feeling the “Firewater” because I just heard sloppy drunken jamming, but maybe that was the idea. At any rate, the seven-minute “Old World”––with its evolving Cisneros-channeling mantra––gets back on the psychedelic journey, beginning with lines like “I see your eyes across the ocean/I feel your arms across the sea”. It is quite a beautiful track, but I was pleasantly surprised at the left turn that followed.
Considering the comfort zone where one is left, “Black Hole” is all the more frightening. They evoke a nasty Nachtmystium vibe (appropriate, since they are touring together), culminating into a destructive din that honestly caught me off-guard, to the point where I actually jumped in my chair. I then understood why “Odyssey II” shows up next––to calm the listener down in preparation for the epic title track, which effectively covers all the band’s bases.
I have not yet had the pleasure of hearing Zoroaster‘s previous three releases, but consider my interest officially piqued. Hotlanta, keep churning out awesome music!
Try: 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9
02. Ancient Ones
06. Old World
07. Black Hole
08. Odyssey II