posted on 8/2008 By:
You could do worse than better if you're thinking about picking up the new Zodiak. I've got an angle with this style of apocalyptic earth metal (Isis, Neurosis, Pelican, etc.). It's that I seldom pummel myself with it. Therefore, the every few months that I do decide to try something on, it, more times than not, has it's desired effect. If not shattering, it's at least mildly entertaining. And they do mildly entertain here with a sort of Opethian/Pink Floydian charm, as they seem to wake more sleeping giants through their whispers than their cliched distorted tantrums. When they swim, they surface with a deep exhale as Zodiak. When they bring down the hammer, they suddenly drown in the Cult of Neur-Isis. Sad. Despite this drawback, they've still struck upon an ebb and flow within this half-of-an-hour, but I give most of the credit to father time and the lack of an extra twenty minutes. Said genre grinds on my last nerve when it hits the fifty minute mark, knowing full well that its intentions are usually to be sweeping and epic. I'll take something more along the lines of this push and pull. Take note of the pull though. There's a darker half on Sermons that isn't what you'd expect, and it's that "swim". The heaviest parts of these songs are actually the most repressed. The lightest feel and the calmest approach. The low tide. If they could do away with the trite bombast, they'd be a quiet storm to be reckoned with. Their opening statement, "Excavate", is that exact kind of flood and drain. On one hand, they've got the creation of damp atmospheres down to a science: make the bass line the main character, try to wash it out with sparse guitar holding a hint of tremolo, then add an admirable take on a less articulate Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth), and you have instantaneous eerie sudo-psychedelia. But on the other, it's the kind of seemingly endless and pointless aggro-jamming on "Wouldn't Wait" and "Their God Reigns" that fail to leave impressions. Yet they can still find redemption (and a last gasp) in the Failure-esque doped-vein sway of "Outlined". Necessary resuscitation.
Back and forth. Sermons couldn't be more the yin and the yang.
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