Zaius – Of Adoration

In the overcrowded metal scene the emerging Chicago based instrumental quartet Zaius deserves to be on your radar as the debut album “Of Adoration” showcases stellar musicianship and intriguing songwriting skills that should not be ignored.

“Phaneron” opens the album with a refreshing modern sound supported by eclectic instrumental passages that channel the ethereal quality of post-metal as well as an undisputable fascination for slick tempo variations with a slight prog orientation. The main core here is rather melodic as elegant distorted guitars maintain polished tonalities but don’t necessarily refrain from occasional heavier accents resulting in an entertaining music blend.

“Sheepdog” begins with a heavier approach yet guitars maintain a charming clarity which inevitably favors a crescendo of convoluted melodic patterns that stand out particularly when the rhythmic section slows down evoking a comfortable serenity.

“Seirenes” is a refined sonic shape-shifter but certainly focuses largely on dreamy melodic guitars that eventually pick up higher dosages of distortion yet never truly leave behind the emotional kaleidoscope that the whole instrumentation strives to maintain through all kind of fancy prog tempo signatures.

“Colin” essentially doesn’t diverge from the mood that characterizes the whole album as guitars effortlessly shift from crunchy somber tones to mellower clean melodies always keeping a balanced harmonious flow and often leading to the exploration of hazy melancholic soundscape.

It must be noted that despite the instrumental complexity on “Of Adoration” there is a profound sense of relaxation in the smooth variations and sound clarity that bear the trademark of atmospheric post-metal and Zaius confidently demonstrates to have a precise music pathway in mind.

The Ditch And The Delta – Hives In Decline

Emerging sludge rockers The Ditch And The Delta unleash the debut album “Hives In Decline” delivering all kinds of crazy heavy moments and crafting mind-bending grooves.

Those who are not familiar with the essential madness of sludge might find the title track hostile or just enigmatic as The Ditch And The Delta experiment with atmospheric tones, depressing vibes and borderline aggressive rhythmic blasts to generate interest and curiosity but also focus on a monolithic combo of guitars & bass with some hypnotizing quality.

“Fuck on Asphalt” definitely has a more straightforward rhythmic assault where steady guitars keep a properly sludge attitude that rightfully gives way to a series of wild and slightly discordant guitar solos.

The brief instrumental “Dry Land” showcases melodic craftsmanship as guitars acquire smooth sonic warmth with remarkable southern rock edge.

“Dread Spectacle” closes the album maximizing the experimental aspects and spicing up the monotone guitar riffing with sudden melodic breakdowns, dissonant tempo variations and dramatic vocals.

Lovers of sludge metal subgenre will find some entertaining ideas through the sonic exploration on “Hives In Decline” even if The Ditch And The Delta often go beyond such traditional elements attempting to channel a higher degree of unrestrained creativity.