Zozobra: Savage Masters

The Zozobra (Old Man Gloom) is an enormous effigy that’s built  and burnt every fall in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  People use the Zozobra as symbol of ridding themselves of their gloom for the coming winter, by lighting it all on fire but essentially going on to repeat the exact same mistakes they were trying to burn in the first place.  In comes the band Zozobra which by no coincidence was formed in Santa Fe by Caleb Scolfield (Old Man Gloom, Cave In).  It seems Caleb likes  ripping off the wealthy bohemian culture of Santa Fe by satirizing their sins apart of his quest for musical boredom.

Savage Masters gives you exactly what you’d expect from any sort of hardcore inspired sludge.  The album does have a bit of a post hardcore edge that gives it a  fringe feel but any fans of Matt Pike will have about fifteen more minutes of cock worship to satisfy their sludge metal needs.  The mix on the album is fantastic, the bass, guitars, drums, and vocals, are so fucking tight and in place there is definitely a well oiled machine at work here but that praise is for Andrew Schneider (Pelican, Unsane).

The guitar riffs on Savage Masters are excellent, of course, having been tested by time you know their good because they have been around for so fucking long.  “A Chorus of War” brings in a nice reprieve to the standard model Zozobra uses on most of the album by making use of chorus.  The effect has a nice tone that settles on a melodic theme while sticking to the disorienting  and unleashed nature of the album. 

As expected the drums and bass keep the music on its path of annihilation to destroy the coming gloom of winter.  There are plenty of two-step/beatdown parts to dance the night away and Zozobra is not ashamed to use them.  The vocals are pretty heavy, gritty, and taint bashing.  They don’t depart form the norms but they’re definitely a comfortable home for those who love feeling their asses ripped open.  There’s a section in the chorus on “Deathless” that really stands out as a departure from the rest of Savage Masters.  It’s almost reminiscent of Judas Priest’s Rob Halford in that they definitely hit from the gut but instead of melodic tones you get Caleb screaming from a bit deeper in the pits of Hell.

All in all this is album isn’t pretentious in its execution or what its trying to accomplish.  What it is, though, is more of the same sort of sludge bullshit people in the scene already love.  And if you love sludge and post hardcore then this will fit nice and tight in your alley.  If however you don’t like sludge or post hardcore this offers nothing new to listen to and would only be a fifteen-minute blur of music that fits nicely in the background while you watch porn.   Or think about how much you hate your mom, whichever.

Savage Masters Official Facebook

Written by Nick the Animal

Zozobra: Savage Masters
Brutal Panda Records
3 / 5