(9/10) Zodiac belongs to this bunch of exciting bands from Muenster, Germany that entered the rock scene a few years ago, getting more and more successful by delivering good music rather than by antics and gimmicks.
Zodiac started their journey in rock not too long ago. It was in 2010 when Nick Van Delft and Janosch Rathmer kicked it off, work that resulted in a first EP in 2011.
From this moment on things just moved the right direction. The debut "A Bit of Devil" received good reactions from fans and media. The appreciation of the next two records has been even higher and I guess that this trend will continue with the newest output of the Muenster-based gang.
The music on "Grain of Soul", the title of the new longplayer, picks it up where "Sonic Child" ended. The joy of a new Zodiac album isn't that the band changes bigger things when it comes to their sound. It's more a constant development and improvement of their trademarks that gives each new longplayer a nuanced new appeal. "Grain of Soul" is no exception.
In total eleven new songs are a treat for everybody that's interested in the overlap of blues rock and classic rock. Compared to the last studio release "Sonic Child", Zodiac gets more to the point with "Grain of Soul". While the predecessor came with some longer tunes that scratched a 10 minutes length, songs on "Grain of Soul" are in general between three to four minutes.
One crucial criteria for Zodiac's success are the vocals of Van Delft. Not only that he's a really good singer, he also has a voice that is recognizable and stands out from many other singers. He has a vibe and timbre in his way of singing that covers a range of warm, soft and heavy. Songs like "Follow" and "Down" are prefect examples. Especially the latter with the strong blues expression belongs anyhow to the pearls on an album the is pure gold.
Another highlight I want to mention is the fast "Animal" that shows Zodiac from the rocking angle, enriched by some breaks that makes the whole song to a true smasher. The same goes for "Like the Sun". Also with this tune the four-piece takes the foot off the break, supported by a dominant rhythm section that gives this number an irresistible groove. It's almost a dirty rocker that marks a kind of counterpart to the epical tracks on "Sonic Child".
The final number is the title song. It's build on a heavy riff and interesting vocal lines that stand united in perfect harmony. Partly the tune sounds like a post grunge one, having a stoner vibe too. In the end it's another facet of Zodiac's sound and a well chosen title track.
If you liked the earlier releases of Zodiac you will also be happy with "Grain of Soul". And in case you haven't listened to these guys yet you should definitely start doing this with this longplayer. Close the gap.
"Grain of Soul" is an album that is joyful for more than just a few days. This album has a depth that provides the listener with music that grows over time. It's the small details, also supported by the superb production by Arne Neurand, that gives this album an exciting kick. Very well done and highly recommended.
- Rebirth by Fire
- Follow You
- Ain't Coming Back
- Get Out
- Like the Sun
- Grain of Soul
Label: Napalm Records
Genre: Classic Rock
Release Date EU: July 29th, 2016