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
, 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
, 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 shi
t is like the god damned Pixar of post-metalgaze with blues influences: it is inherently badass and can do no wrong*.
t 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.