Posted by: will | February 15, 2007


Zozobra “Harmonic Tremors” (Hydra Head)


Oddly enough, Zozobra takes its name from a 50 foot effigy that is burned every year at the Fiestas De Santa Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The band is the brainchild of bassist Caleb Scofield (Cave In/Old Man Gloom). The album also features live drums by Santos Montano (Forensics/Old Man Gloom). As one can imagine from the two main conspirators and the fact that Harmonic Tremors comes out on Hydra Head, Zozobra is rather heavy in nature. However, one of the bright spots of the album is the fact that the band can create different styles while staying, at all times, completely heavy.

Harmonic Tremors is not your normal chug chug metal. Zozobra are some weird space rock/metal amalgamation that works rather well. “Leviator” like much of the album, is a slow burning track. Scofield’s vocals here sound like Matt Talbott from the great Hum…that is until he turns his smooth vocals into growls. There are several tracks that recall the dreamy landscapes of Hum and that is surely a great thing. “Soon To Follow” is an amazing track and perhaps the crown jewel of Harmonic Tremors. There is a certain brilliant undercurrent of paranoia running through the song that amazes me with each listen. While Scofield is known for being the screamer in latter-day Cave In, it is his softer vocals that show up on tracks like “Silver Ghost”, “The Vast Expanse” and the wonderful album closer “A Distant Star Fades”. Scofield’s vocals are actually reminiscent of Cave In front-man and band-mate Stephen Brodsky. Scofield does seem to pull quite a bit from his former band. However, tracks like the instrumental “Caldera” prove that Scofield and Zozobra are quite capable of standing on their own merits.

What I really admire about Harmonic Tremors is its brevity. Where a lot of these types of bands seem to milk their song lengths into epic areas, Zozobra only goes beyond the five minute mark once. It’s a nice change of pace from a band in this genre. Harmonic Tremors is a perfect title for the style of music Zozobra play here. There is melody here but it remains a bumpy ride. Scofield has proved that his time to emerge into the spotlight has come. If Zozobra is any indication, he should have stepped out into the light a long time ago.

RIYL: Hum, Cave In, Isis


Zozobra – Leviator (mp3)

Zozobra – Soon To Follow (mp3)

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