Released: 2009, Terminal Doom Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Caveat emptor, there is no middle ground when it comes to Zoroaster’s second full length release, VOICE OF SATURN. Either you will totally get this, or you will be completely baffled. Atlanta’s Zoroaster has crafted one indescribable mammoth of an album here. Full of psychedelic passages, fat Sabbath worthy riffs, and a general minimalistic view of the world, VOICE OF SATURN is best approached as a complete package rather than individual components.
“Spirit Molecule” builds up to a plodding groove, reminiscent of Electric Wizard’s more smoked out moments before an eerily positive piano strain rises into the mix and eventually crescendos in a haze of chants and fuzzed out guitars. Primitively brilliant. The 13 minute plus “Undying” begins molasses slow and crawls into a punctuated rhythm, accented by vocals full of gravel and coal, then deconstructing itself into trance inducing riffs and sci-fi noises. “White Dwarf” is the only tune that could remotely be described as “middle of the road”, while the title track that is abstract ambience at its best. “Lamen of the Master Therion” is like trying to rock out after downing a bottle of Nyquil; you’ll find your head swinging back and forth, but with reckless substance induced abandon. “Outro” reprises the piano strains from “Spirit Molecule” only accompanied by a faint acoustic guitar, eventually subsiding after a few minutes. After about eight minutes of silence some percussive rhythms begin to build, eventually closing the album with a free form “jam.”
Creative? Yes. Bizarre? Absolutely. Is Zoroaster worth your time? That depends a lot on your level of tolerance. VOICE OF SATURN is not an easy album to digest and will require repeated listens before you can fully wrap your head around it. Even fans of bands like Jesu, Eyehategod, Goatsnake or the aforementioned Electric Wizard may find some initial head scratching after the first listen. Zoroaster is the opposite end of the heavy spectrum. Content to save the speed and uber complexity to the other guys, VOICE OF SATURN is the personification of the primal.