CD Sermons [Digipak] * (CD 1168779),
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Sermons [Digipak] *

  • 1. Excavate
    2. Sermons
    3. etc.
    4. Wouldn't Wait
    5. Their God Reigns
    6. Zeros and Ones
    7. Outlined
    8. [Untitled]
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 292

  • Credits

    Personnel: Randy Garvine (guitar).
    Recording information: Super 8 Studios.
    A supergroup of sorts -- members include performers from Javelina and Rosetta, among others -- Zodiak's take on darker metal impulses grows not only from the source bands that make it but a wider array of psych and prog influences. Not for nothing did the band cover the early Pink Floyd track "See Emily Play" for a compilation, for instance. Instead of bright whimsy, though, the group's short debut, Sermons, a half-hour's worth of tracks brought together from various studio improvisations, captures hints of that group's murkiest tribal jam side, but the whole is a mlange of decades' worth of art rock and metal, signaled by everything from fragile vocals to bass-led roaring (there's a fairly open Tool jones at many points, unquestionably). It's calm enough to be meditative background music at many points, but if you were actually trying to have it be that, you would still need to turn down the volume. The compressed, downward-spiral riffs on "Excavate" and "Wouldn't Wait"'s stately, epic-scaled pulse and pace make for prime examples of how carefully the quintet balances rampage with controlled impact; if the feeling can be familiar at points, it's also a stellar example of doing that approach incredibly well. Sermons' longest song, the title track, lets the quintet's most exploratory side seep out, as queasily beautiful psych guitar and hushed singing are suddenly supplemented by a sharp drum punch that heralds the song's slow transformation into a slow-burn epic with skyscraping soloing -- if Zodiak take this as a starting point for any future endeavors, they'll already improve on a strong debut appearance. ~ Ned Raggett

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