The difference between worthwhile stoner/doom metal and the lackluster, heard-it-all-before variety is rather slim. This is because we have heard it all before. There are only so many places to go within a genre that basically consists of tuning down to C, digging deep into a pocket of Sabbath blues and sparking a gigantic spliff. But, by the same token, when it’s done rightâ€¦ Which leads us to Zoroaster, a monolithic three-piece hailing from the land of Southern dandies, Atlanta, GA.
Teaming up with engineering guru Ed Rawls and recording at The Living Room (Mastodon), it seems quite obvious from the opening moments of Zoroaster’s third full-length, Voice of Saturn, that here lies a band which understands the art of heavy. â€œSeeing the Darkâ€ creeps out the gates with a mid-tempo ferocity akin to familiar doom, and the dirty, bare-bones tone of Will Fiore’s axe combined with Brent Anderson’s low-end and the muffled attack of Dan Scanlan’s skin work pops ears like the ascension of a Boeing 747. Fiore’s stance as a vocalist is also quickly established as not that of a scream, but rather a growl or snarl in the vein of High On Fire’s Matt Pike.
Moving seamlessly through a scope of darkness with slow motion seesaws (â€œSpirit Moleculeâ€) and aggressive pushers (â€œUndyingâ€), Zoroaster covers ample stomping grounds, not without aid from the spaced-out musings of an ever-trusty Moog synthesizer. And while Voice of Saturn is not breaking ice in the frozen pond world of Stone to the Bone, the effort as a whole is benefited from particular moments where the group shies not away from melody, Ã la the coda from the aforementioned â€œSeeing the Darkâ€ or the piano-driven introduction to the album’s final and ultimately tribal track, â€œLamen of the Master Therion.â€