Zoroaster - Matador CD (Import)

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Tracklisting:

  1. D.N.R.
  2. Ancient Ones
  3. Odyssey
  4. Trident
  5. Firewater
  6. Old World
  7. Black Hole
  8. Odyssey II
  9. Matador

Release Date: 2011

Label: Steamhammer

Origin: Germany

I don’t know what they got in the water there in Georgia, but it seems like the state is quickly becoming to sludge what California was to thrash. It started with Mastodon, then Baroness and now its Kylesa charging in, leading the hordes with this band, Zoroaster usually by their side, and let me tell you whatever IS in the water, these guys got a good extra dose of.


Zoroaster don’t particularly sound leagues different from Kylesa, it’s still Sludge obviously, but where as Kylesa had a very apparent hardcore punk influence, Zoroaster have a very obvious stoner/doom influence. Particularly, I actually hear quite a few Om type things going on here, such as low, meditatively chanted lyrics, which Zoroaster tend to sync up perfectly with the delay and reverb saturated bass and guitars, sometimes becoming incomprehensible from each other, to create a beautiful ethereal soundscape along with the thankfully complimentary drumming. What songs don’t sound like a hardcore meditative session in an opium den, are straight up slug fests of low riffs, viciously whispered (I couldn’t think of another way to describe it) vocals and beaten drums accordingly. For the most part on Matador, they tend to structure around starting some sort of ethereal riffs and leads, and then break into the cleaner just straight up sludge and then just throw everything into a pot together and go from there.


Lyrically, it tends to center around a variety of things from things Magical, to depression, drugs etc. It’s kind of hard to give an exact explanation or understanding because the lyrics are somewhat hard to decipher and there aren’t any lyrics for this album on the net that I could find at the moment, so let me tell you that that if your desperate to figure out what the hell they’re talking about you’re going to be out of luck and considering the music it would compliment it is definitely a curiosity constantly fed. Mood and atmospheric wise, wow, you’re in for a treat. Like I said before, this band is comparable to Om , in that there’s this almost religious, chant feel to their mood, but where Om achieve it using eastern sounding prayer atmosphere, Zoroaster use lots and lots of Feedback, Delay and Reverb to almost cancel the chaos and dissonance of each other into atmospheric equilibrium. And although it doesn’t feel evil, it does sound quite ominous, the album fitting perfectly for some sort of eastern set horror/mystery/thriller movie


If I were to make a brief conclusion of their music just based of bands, I’d say it’s a mix of High on Fire, Om, Kylesa, Weedeater and Acid bath, that also being if you’re checking this band out to find out what the difference between Doom, Sludge, Stoner and Stoner/Doom is, don’t start here because it’s quite an confusing amalgamation of them all. Whereas Kylesa tend to start with some post-rocky sound bits and then immediately drop them for balls-out Sludge, maybe at some point using it for a conclusive melodic bit, Zoroaster are constantly utilizing their effects to full potential helping to create an almost drug induced cousin to post-metal, in that it’s vital to their atmosphere. In the end, I think Zoroaster have the potential to further and perfect their sound, on Matador I think they’ve done an awesome job in pushing the boundaries of Sludge in different ways other than post- ideas. All in all it’s a solid Sludge output and if you like anything from the other Georgia bands you should definitely check these guys out. - absurder21 (Metal-Archives.com June 1, 2011)