"Savage Masters"

By Dr. Abner Mality

We are living in the age of angry metal, so if you want to stand out from the pack, you've got to bring something special to the game. Sad to say, Zozobra doesn't really seem to do that. This is another in a countless stream of rage-fuelled bands combining aspects of hardcore and sludge. I hear so much of this (mainly coming from the Southern Lord label) that it's very difficult to tell the bands apart.

To be sure, anger is in strong supply here and seems to be very authentic, but what's different about it? Not the leather-lunged bellowing vocals, much in the vein of legions of tattooed, bearded dudes who have difficulty expressing themselves with a kind demeanor. Some of the lead guitar work does show some cleverness...there's a real cool one in "A Chorus of War" that sounds like a thousand belligerent bagpipes sounding off. But not enough. To cut to the chase, I had a hard time recalling "Savage Masters" even the day after I heard it.

Add to that an EP running time of less than 15 minutes that will likely be charged full LP price and "Savage Masters" by Zozobra doesn't distinguish itself from the roiling sea of anger metal flooding the scene today.