Sunday 26 April 2015


GenresPunk / Space-Rock / Post-Hardcore / Post-Metal / Hardcore / Thrash / Doom / Ambient / Heavy Metal / Noise
Related artistsCave In, Old Man Gloom, Isis, Palms, Clouds, Kid Kilowatt, King Duane Sunnapee, Doomriders, Goatsnake, Pet Genius, Forensics and New Idea Society.
CountryBoston, Massachusetts USA
Years Active2006-present
Song: "Treacherous"
Album: "Bird of Prey"
Year: 2008
Label(s): Brutal Panda Records / Hydra Head Records
This post's artist is from the April 2015 Mix. This is track #7.
You can download: the April Mix#4 right here or get the new May 2015 Mix#5 here.
For fans ofKnut, Old Man Gloom, Botch, The Minor Times, Converge, Isis, Cave In, Mutoid Man, Rosetta, AmenRa, Forensics, Shoto, Engineer, Pelican, Swarm Of The Lotus, Curl Up And Die, Shahman, Gray Ghost, Mare, Finger Of God and Kowloon Walled City.

ZOZOBRA is the brainchild of one Caleb Scofield, known perhaps a fraction or two more for his work in Cave In (bass/vocals) and Old Man Gloom (bass/vocals). This project/band had Caleb doing everything himself (save for drums?????????) on the first record(s??????????) which obviously gave him nearly complete creative control. What does it sound like? Not far from the two aforementioned bands, actually, just further to the aggressive and dark side of them. ZOZOBRA has released three LPs and a single/b-side from the 'Bird of Prey' session. All of them kick serious ass. Let's check them out chronologically.

2007's 'Harmonic Tremors' was the ZOZOBRA debut. I was convinced "Levitate" was Cave In's Stephen Brodsky helping out on vocals only to find out that Caleb croons them out live, too. 'Harmonic Tremors' is, for all general purposes, much slower, melodic, spacey and groovin' than its successors. There are obvious exceptions such as the aptly titled "Kill and Crush" which is...well, crushing. "Invisible Wolves" could have come straight from Old Man Gloom's 'Meditations II' or Isis' 'Panopticon', bassy, sludgy and entrancing. In the end the album careens, stops and starts, has wonders and blunders and was a more than exciting debut release. "The Vast Expanse" is another interesting number worth mentioning, as the bass intro alone could make your basement teeter. The song then shifts into an Egyptian-sounding tribal ghost chant. This chant leads way to the booming chorus that has a peculiar, industrial, almost White Zombie/Nine Inch Nails-esque instrumental section going on.

2008's 'Bird of Prey' is my favourite ZOZOBRA album, as it knew exactly what it was setting out to achieve and did just that. This is a brooding, spacey, epic, hardcore/post-metal record with seething and venomous vocals. "Emanate" mixes Antenna-era Cave In with gutteral bouts of werewolf vocals with an awesome, rolling, nearly eternal bassline. "Treacherous" puts on a screamy/growly vocal clinic. The general song structure and bass sound like very late era Cave In. For a heavy song this also incorporates a strong sense of melodic structure - it's all just really fucking heavy. I'd say this is probably my favourite ZOZOBRA cut. "Sharks That Circle" sounds like a mixture of Cave In and Isis and is one of the few tracks on the album to run with some clean vocals. Also harnessing Caleb's spacey croon is "In Jet Streams". A sick opening palm-muted bass riff is followed by two guitars, the drums and vocals just before 30 seconds. It's like a goddamned volcanic eruption, which. not surprisingly. reminds me of "The Volcano" by Old Man Gloom. "Heavy With Shadows" begins with a very distorted, heavy and punctuating bass riff which culminates at 37 seconds and brings the fucking house down. "Lazer Eyes" has flashes of blinding light from a higher being, only to seep into darkness thereafter with some intimidating post-metal/hardcore and massive metal/rock riffs. Amazing record.

An interesting note here as that the song "Bird of Prey" did not appear on 'Bird of Prey', but was instead tossed on the 'Champions of Sound' 4-way split/comp. It's standard ZOZOBRA fare, which means good.

Considering Caleb does most, if not all, of the heavy vocals on Cave In's last effort 'White Silence' in 2011 this isn't too far off from being the new Cave In record, especially considering how heavy that album was. Without Brodsky it obviously loses some of its luster and grace, but 'Savage Masters' is not going for grace. If anything I think it's going for the complete opposite, pummeling chaos and destruction that brings Converge's 'Jane Doe' to mind. This is blatantly showcased in the first noisy, thrashy track spewing venomous vocals that mist somewhere between Cave In, Converge and Cloud and is appropriately titled "The Cruelest Cut". "Deathless" is easily one of the highlights as it takes those poison vocals and gives them even more fury and disgust. The combination of growls, rhythms and guitar wailing is fantastic. "Born in a Blaze" is my top track on the band's final album with an absolutely booming chorus and frantic, bare verses. This beast could easily have been place on Old Man Gloom's 2013 album of darkness, also known as 'No' as it bears so many similarities to the heavy parts, but as mentioned earlier Cave In's 'White Silence' wouldn't be a stretch either.

So yeah, sick band. I hope they put out some more stuff, especially considering Brodsky is hard into the equally amazing Mutoid Man.


Click )==>here<==( to download the band's complete discography in mp3 form.

2007 - Harmonic Tremors cd/12"LP

2008 - Bird of Prey cd/12"LP
2008 - Champions of Sound 2x7" compilation (contributed "Bird of Prey")

2013 - Saveage Masters 12"LP


(2007) ZOZOBRA - "Invisible Wolves" (from 'Harmonic Tremors')

(2007) ZOZOBRA - "Kill and Crush" (from 'Harmonic Tremors')

(2007) ZOZOBRA - "Levitate" (from 'Harmonic Tremors')

(2008) ZOZOBRA - "Treacherous" (from 'Bird of Prey')

(2008) ZOZOBRA - "In Jet Streams" (from 'Bird of Prey')

(2008) ZOZOBRA - "Heavy With Shadows" (from 'Bird of Prey')

(2008) ZOZOBRA - "Bird of Prey" (from 'Champions of Sound' comp)

(2013) ZOZOBRA - "Born in a Blaze" (from 'Savage Masters')

(2013) ZOZOBRA - "Deathless" (from 'Savage Masters')


ZOZOBRA mp3 discography download / Additional Links

(download here)



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