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Zoroaster

Voice of Saturn

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As a band known for its pummeling live shows, Atlanta-based sludge and doom metal trio Zoroaster proves that pitting sheer aggression against psychedelic backdrops creates interesting results, even in digital form.

Ambient opener “Seeing the Dark” sets the stage for “Spirit Molecule,” a swaggering blues-tinged metal behemoth that features the guttural bass and grizzled vocals of bassist Brent Anderson. “White Dwarf” shows the band in full force, with chugging riffs courtesy of guitarists Will Fiore and guest shredder Brent Hinds (of fellow Atlanta band Mastodon) accompanied by Anderson belting out heavy bass rumblings and drummer Dan Scanlan providing a snappy backbone.

But instead of an hour-long metallic assault, these southern boys also use Voice of Saturn to explore the outer regions of psychedelia. It’s best exemplified by the droning ambience of the album’s title track.

There are also musical nods throughout to fellow sludge and doom bands like Eyehategod, Neurosis, Sleep and Black Sabbath. But instead of sounding like a carbon copy of those artists, Voice of Saturn stands on its own with its unique and peppered use of Moog synthesizers, sound effects, low-frequency feedback and wailing guitar.

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