Zatokrev - The Bat, The Wheel and a Long Road to Nowhere (IMPORT) (CD)
Zatokrev have developed their music further through past years. The new album contains elements from Sludge, Stoner, Black Metal, Prog-Metal, Doom, Psychedelic Rock, Post-Hardcore and shows more dynamics in song writing, instrumentation and a stronger variety of vocals than their self titled debut.
Zaum - Eidolon (IMPORT) (CD)
Presented on CD, ZAUM's sophomore full-length 'Eidolon' offers a monolithic doomy mantra-based meditative experience, forged by bass and drums interwoven with sitar, woodwind, string and synth textures, resulting in a tranquil resonance whereby the astral and physical planes can co-exist and be understood from a natural perspective.
Zaum - Oracles (IMPORT) (CD)
ZAUM is a duo from Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. Kyle Alexander McDonald (frontman of the 3-bassed doom band Shevil) is the vocalist and plays bass via a monolithic custom stereo FX creation layered with sitar textures and synth, while Christopher Lewis (frontman of Canadian stoner rock legends Iron Giant) plays drums and percussion. ZAUM combines the foreboding darkness of The Wounded Kings, with the meditative, oriental disposition of Om and Bong, thickly entwined in singular aural mysticism and creativity that stimulates the imagination at all times. ZAUM dubbed their style "Middle Eastern mantra doom." For fans of Om, Bong, Sleep, The Wounded Kings, etc.
Zillah - Substitute for a Catastrophe (IMPORT) (CD)
Zillah combine dissonant riffs, chaotic drumming and raging vocals to create a sound that is uniquely their own. A brutal assault on the senses for fans of Voivod, Burnt By the Sun and Mastodon.
Zodiak - Sermons (CD)
Features members of Rosetta, Balboa, Slacks, and Javelina.
Zodiak is a gathering of some Philadelphia's underground elite (and all representatives of Translation Loss in-house bands), featuring members from Rosetta, Balboa, Slacks, Javelina and ex-Lickengoldsky. Sermons is the by-product of some old-fashioned dicking around between kindred souls looking to jam away some idle time and reportedly the guys discovered there was more cohesion to this meddling around than anyone expected. Hence we have Sermons, an eight song album with varying latitudes of atmospheric metal that range from dirgy to effervescent to outright bombastic. In a way, Zodiak is ushering in a possible new form of alter-rock using their layered artscapes to create a singular, focused rock song. Are we being treated to a glimpse of the future here? Time will tell...
Sermons does feature a lot of repetitious, hypnotizing riffs that might have gotten chopped into simpler, easier-to-digest parts if the group had spent time pulling apart the tracks. It’s a good thing that they didn’t do that. Zodiak really sets up amazing atmospheres that could easily find their way onto serial killer movie soundtracks. The biggest surprise for me was the presence of clean vocals on this recording. I went into this expecting the aural assault of Rosetta, but was pleasantly surprised to hear moving, emotive singing which really helps to set the tone and lends a Tool-like vibe to some of the tracks. Usually bands with two vocalists don’t work out, but in this case, both singers sit nicely in the mix and each vocalist plays off the strength of the other. Mike Armine of Rosetta is also in charge of the samples, which are perhaps the key to the overall atmosphere. Overall, Zodiak is moving, atmospheric music that would make a very surreal backdrop to the tales of your favorite killing spree.
Zolle - Self Titled (IMPORT) (CD)
Marcello (Morkobot) and Stefano, two self-professed farm boys from the fields of northern Italy, have taken a bit of a break from their many bands and projects to concentrate on a two-man riff-oriented entity they've dubbed Zolle (derived from the Italian word zòlla, meaning clump). For the past year, Marcello (guitars) and Stefano (drums/percussion) have worked tirelessly to create an instrumental album that not only encompasses many of the avant-garde principles learned from their past efforts but also appeals to the groovy, laid back tastes of the stoner/doom rock community. And so it is that Zolle, the band's eponymous debut release, delivers an Imperial ton of blurry riffs and a large drum sound - not to mention a few touches of tasteful synth atmospherics. Zolle exists primarily to shake loose the clods of dirt from your boots and help lift those late-afternoon cold brews.
The band practices a ‘less-is-more’ approach and pummels and grinds through the disc’s groove and riff-oriented ten tracks. While the music is relentlessly heavy, the band expresses their sense of humor through the song titles – many of which reference redneck living. The band’s most recent single, “Heavy Letam”, is suggestive of “Letame” — which means manure in Italian — resulting in “a shitty anagram about heavy metal”. Zolle was formed by Marcello Lan (Morkobot), who lays down the meaty riffs, and counterpart Stefano who beefs things up on drums and xylophone. It was almost all played live, with overdubs reduced to the bone. The drums are of considerable proportion and made of copper and the amplifier an old digital model of the ’50s which makes for a mammoth sound. Finally, Urlo from Ufomammut and Roberto Rizzo of Quasiviri/Runi add synth seasoning to flesh out the album.
Zun - Burial Sunrise (IMPORT) (CD)
The debut-album by the project featuring stoner/doom/psych cult hero Gary Arce, who played a crucial part in the development of the desert rock genre with his band 'Yawning Man'. Here he is accompanied by John Garcia (Kyuss) and Sera Timms (Ides of Gemini), leading to delightful loose jams to get lost in.