Zodiak
Sermons


4.0
excellent

Review

by Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration USER (56 Reviews)
August 4th, 2011 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: There is literally no possible way in hell that this could be anything less than awesome.

Everything about Sermons screams "awesome" on paper. It's a concise, physchadelic, bluesy post-metalgaze acid trip with members of Rosetta, Balboa, Elder, Slacks, and Javelina. Sounds pretty good, eh? However, awesome-sounding supergroups have a long and sad history of churning out mediocre music that utterly defiles their promising setups. Remember Twilight? You know, that one black metal supergroup with members of Xasthur, Draugar, Leviathan, Nachtmystium, and Krieg? Well, their 2004 self-titled debut sucked about as much ass as your average all-star team (let's forget for a minute that later member changes resulted in a comaprably impressive sophomore). It was as likely that Zodiak would fall into a similar trap as it is that Hunter Hunt-Hendrix will say something monumentally stupid when he next opens his mouth, but fortunately for humanity in general, Sermons is a rare example of a supergroup living up to its obvious potential.

At just over 30 minutes in length, Sermons is an exceedingly uncommon anomaly in the world of everything remotely related to the Cult of Neurisis. Zodiak don't meander. They eschew longass buildups and repetitive post-rock patterns in favor of a ridiculously delicious stir-fry of shoegaze, sludge metal, indie rock, and blues (Because I feel like transcribing ridiculous genre names, I'm gonna call it "Phsychadelic Post-Metalbluesgaze." Eat your heart out, Mike Armine). Let's focus on that last genre of influence for a second. Yeah, Sermons has the blues. Let me ask you this: How in the name of all that is awesome can that be a bad thing? This shit is like the god damned Pixar of post-metalgaze with blues influences: it is inherently badass and can do no wrong*.

This shit is also pretty damn catchy. Just listen to album highlight Their God Reigns for proof. The shoegaze is prominent, the 3/4 beat is danceable, Armine's lines are unbelievably epic, and the bassline is just about the manliest thing that has ever existed in any genre beginning with "post." Of course, we can't talk about Armine's contributions without mentioning his opposite, Christian McKenna. While Armine furiously belts out his impassioned shouts, McKenna is there to provide an effective contrast through his breathy, phsychadelic cleans. However, it's unfair to say that the interplay between the two vocalists is the one thing that makes Sermons what it is, because choosing the band's most valuable contributors is a stupid and useless task that honestly doesn't have an answer. Literally every single member is an indispensable part of the unfiltered badassery that is Zodiak. They put their own unique touches on the music presented here, but also all work as parts of a single whole. How often can you say that about a supergroup?

*As long as Zodiak never make any music relating to automobiles, they're all good.



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user ratings (13)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
wyankeif1337
August 4th 2011


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is my first review since early June. i tried a bit of a different, less formal approach here because part of the reason i haven't written in so long is boredom from writing the same damned review 54 times.

balcaen
August 4th 2011


3183 Comments


i lol'd at the last line. this seems like something i'll actually want to check out, despite supergroup stigma...



anyway, pos.


but you have got to have the worst username on this site

wyankeif1337
August 4th 2011


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i am fully aware of that. unfortunately, due to a bug in my review/forum account sync, it isn't comething that can be fixed unless mx himself gets involved. which basically means it ain't gonna happen.

Powerban
August 4th 2011


2380 Comments


yeah i remember this when it came out, i was pretty excited about it but it was kinda a let down. it seemed like steven wilson having control over a post-metal band.

i just listened up until about halfway through the 4th track and turned it off. it's just so boring.

wyankeif1337
August 4th 2011


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

but Powerban, you stopped right before the best track

wyankeif1337
August 5th 2011


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

cool, gotta love me them explanation-free ghost negs.

Relinquished
August 5th 2011


25097 Comments


you need to improve this

wyankeif1337
August 5th 2011


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

as i wrote it in the middle of a college applications-induced, adderall-fueled haze, i don't doubt that. if i do, however, would you un neg it? it's not even a huge deal, i just like the number "97" more than i do "96." (if it's not even your neg, i apologize. i'll work on it tomorrow either way)

sifFlammable
August 5th 2011


2741 Comments


*As long as Zodiak never make any music relating to automobiles, they're all good.

i hope you're not going to use lines like this in your college applications

wyankeif1337
August 5th 2011


6739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

trust me, i actually spent *time* on my essays. like i said before, this review was written in an adderall-fueled haze during some downtime while writing apps.

Photon
August 5th 2011


1292 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

love this album. 0s and 1s should have been longer

cb123
April 24th 2012


2021 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Halfway through this and dam i like it....nice review to, ya summed up the different elements pretty nicely



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