Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Album Review- Zippo 'Maktub'

Not a country known for it's unbelievable rock output in the past, it seems there is a small , but well formed scene of interesting hard rock and psyche bands coming from Italy, with bands like The Whirlings, Ephel Duath and now Pescara based progsters Zippo leading the charge for a wave of Mediterranean flavoured  monolithic riffs and balls to the wall guitar wizardry.

And we'll be damned if it's not one of the freshest , most vital records to be released this year.The third album from Zippo, 'Maktub' is produced by Victor Love , with mastering duties handled by one James Plotkin, who has worked with such underground legends as Sunno ))) and Isis, and shows the band weaving a tantalising web of intricate songwriting ,deft and clever riffing and sonic experimentation, as well as moments of  pure rock fury a la Mastodon and Baroness.Opener ' The Personal Legend' is a rousing blend of drop tuned , sledgehammer sludge riffing and spacey, glacial melodies, it's bizarre time changes and skittering , funk tinged riffing recalling a more sludgy Rush.' The Omens' is an epic blend of Tool style soaring melodies, and riffing battery, while 'Caravan To Your Destiny' impresses just as much with it's minimal stark guitar work and epic , eastern influenced melodies.

The band's talent lies in taking the traditional forms of grunge , sludge and hard rock, and twisting them into unrecognisable shapes, with tempos constantly changing, bizarre guitar effects , and cleverly sung vocal passages from singer David that recall Maynard James Keenan at his most exploratory.Album highlight 'Simum' meanwhile showcases the band's knack of creating a sense of spacey menace, that evokes long gone and much missed Louisiana psychos Acid Bath. But comparisons are mostly futile, as Zippo with 'Maktub' are very much forging their own path ,and it has to be said that this is perhaps one of the most confident and energetic albums to emerge from the heavy rock underground this year.Passionate and raw but yet technically fascinating and always with a feverish invention at play, expect these guys to make waves in the rock underground in 2012.

For fans of: Tool ,Baroness, Totimoshi, Acid Bath, Kylesa
Listen here: http://www.zippomusic.it/
Stephen O ' Connor

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