Friday, March 7, 2014

"XIII" by Zoax

London based Zoax is the culmination of years of touring experience between the members. After spending time playing with other bands, the boys have come together and they're ready to unleash their own music on the world, but what is their music?

Normally, it's very easy to place a band's sound in a certain genre. Metallica plays metal. Deicide plays death metal. The Eagles play whacked out California southern rock, but Zoax, plays....well they play music.

The best way of explaining what they do is that they toe the line between metal and rock as though it were the straight line of a sobriety test being taken by someone who's over the limit. Sometimes this band is very heavy, and other times they are rocking and singing. They never really play metal, and they never really play hard rock, but they a brand of music that's interesting indeed.

Like Baroness, they seem to be a band with "metal influences," though not a proper metal band. Normally, it feels like a cop out when someone says my music defies categorization or that we just play our music and we don't care where we fit or who likes us, but with this band, that's a very apt way of describing their sound.

The guitars are heavy and distorted, but they lack the super high gain and compression of a band like Carcass, but they are not just simply overdriven like AC/DC or KISS. The guitarwork has arrived into a grey area that could only be described as the Romulan Neutral Zone between the Romulan Star Empire and the Federation because no one else has ever gone in there.

The songs are hook laden and full of little melodies hurled out here and there and of course, there are a number of breakdowns, but not really much in the way of lead guitarwork, which I always find a little disappointing, but never a dealbreaker.

The rhythm section is strong and tight. Though they're heavy, don't expect any blast beats on this record, or most likely the next. The singer throws around several different types of delivery which always keeps the vocals fresh.

This is a very polished album for a band that has only been together since 2013.

Release: 2/17/2014
Genre: Rock, Metal (?)
Label: Siege of Amida Records
Runtime: 18:51
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1) Bitter.Angry.Fake
2) Burn It To The Ground
3) High
4) Jekyll Meets Hyde
5) Mind Game

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