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.