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Zoroaster - Zoroaster - 2006 - Battle Kommand Records

Track Listing
1. Mons Venus
2. Bullwhip
3. Honey & Salt
4. Defile
Atlanta, Georgia has become quite a hotbed for heavy metal in recent years. Mastodon would of course be the first example that comes to mind, but they are not the only. Apocalyptic Visions and Lilitu are both noteworthy, if dramatically opposed, while groups like Withered and the featured Zoroaster delve into the muddy waters of sludge/doom.

In fact, a number of Americans have picked up this style, The Abominable Iron Sloth one of some note, and are leading its development into a legitimate genre. This is a pleasant change from the standard metal formula where America mimics and simplifies genres explored elsewhere, and for that Zoroaster and all their peers should be applauded.

Unfortunately, American Doom will not get too far if only groups like Zoroaster are performing it. They are supposedly quite a force to be reckoned with in their local scene and are diligent in their daily rehearsals (although the songwriting here hardly demands such dedicated practice), but their self-titled debut never stops struggles to define itself. By now, everyone familiar with metal knows that Doom Metal can employ many traits, ‘heavy’ and ‘ponderous’ being two of the most necessary, but a truly good doom album goes beyond these simple tenets.

It is, after all, called Doom for a reason, and while a down-tuned riff repeated at 40 bpm may be a piece of the puzzle, it is by no means the only one. Truly good doom demands depth of character and emotion from its performers. Zoroaster, while spot on with their mixing, production, and general approach, simply lack the spark to make this effort believable.

Their attempt at hypnotic, seductive riffing takes the correct first steps, but from there does not continue at all and instead seems entirely satisfied to plug away at the most basic levels of songwriting. The same elementary riffs are repeated for minutes on end, giving no impression of progress or development.

If Zoroaster are as dedicated as they claim to be, congratulations to them—hardworking musicians are the fabric of the metal community. But until their passion finds its way into their music, Zoroaster will not succeed.




--Etiam 01.10.07
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: ZOROASTER
CD
TITLE BAND
DOR
REVIEWER DATE
ZoroasterZoroaster
2006
Etiam1/16/2007


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