Zoroaster - Matador

9 songs
45:00 minutes
***** ***
Steamhammer / SPV


American doom/sludge/psychedelic metal band Zoroaster was founded in Georgia in 1993. They certainly don’t sound like a Southern rock band, instead opting for a sound as mysterious as the prophet after which they named themselves. Since 2005, they have been releasing a couple of records, but Matador is only the third longplayer by these three gifted musicians.

Matador has just like expected turned out to be a dark affair, just like we were used from the predecessor Voice Of Saturn. The opener is called D.N.R. but I can’t imagine this distorted, droning artefact to find its way into the playlist of the identically named conservative local radio station. The songs are a little shorter – between three and seven minutes each – than in the past, but otherwise the band has stayed true to itself. At times they are acting wilder and more chaotic, but generally their pace can be likened to a lava stream. Some variety has been added by occasional bubbling sounds and assorted electronic gadgets, as can be heard on the excellent Firewater. Add to this conjuring vocals that remind of black masses. Another highlight is the concluding title track which is drawing parallels to early Hawkwind when Lemmy was still their vocalist.

Easy to digest is an attribute that will certainly not be used in the context of Matador, but if you are into darkly psychedelic sounds, then you should really consider spending some time with the new Zoroaster album. The pauses between tracks are also very short, so that the different pieces seem to blend into one another, helping to make the album sound like an entity. Matador is an overall very pleasant listening experience!

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