Zodiak - _Sermons_
(Translation Loss, 2008)
by: Jeremy Ulrey (
Coming off like a hybrid, metallized Radiohead meets Pink Floyd with the hazy sonic flair of Deftones, this mini-LP from Philly upstart Zodiak is somewhat of a breath of fresh air, especially considering the band make no attempt to hedge their bets by ensuring some aspect of heaviness kicks in with any kind of regularity. They're just as likely to drone on for eight minutes at a time ("Sermons") as they are to keep the drugged out narco-sludge going full time ("Wouldn't Wait"). Opening track "Excavate" offers the largest slab of metal, and even there you get a back-and-forth with the cleanest vocals on the record.The majority of _Sermons_ consists of narcotic explorations of the available studio equipment leavened by the aforementioned thinking man's doom. If anything, it's the piecemeal nature of the recordings that thwarts full listener immersion. It's understandable that the ensemble here hails from a variety of local Philly bands -- Javelina, Rosetta, Balboa, Slacks and ex-Lickgoldensky -- and according to the press release the eight tracks on offer were recorded over a period of three years, but the end result comes off as more of an archival recording than a seamless, integrated album. The skill set is there, though, and if these gents can make these little get togethers a more frequent happening, then Zodiak will be a band to watch.
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