Zodiac – A Hiding Place (Prosthetic)

Sunday, 27th October 2013
Rating: 7.5/10

Don’t go thinking all the 70’s-soaked rock comes from Sweden – Germany has something to say too, this time in the form of Zodiac. Formed in 2010 by Long Distance Calling drummer Janosch Rathmer and Rocketchief guitarist Stephen Gall, the band already spat out an album last year (A Bit of Devil), and have since followed it up with A Hiding Place, an album that is a bit of a shade off the norm when it comes retro-happy rock/metal, which could be why the band could be summoned as more seasoned than some of their contemporaries.

Hard not to picture ‘ole Bon Scott shirtless and boozed-up, singing along to opener “Downtown,” the album’s best cut and coincidentally, it’s most rocked-out moment. Bear in mind that it’s not a total AC/DC slag-off (see: 77 and Bullet), but sort of wiggles and pumps the way High Voltage did. The classic rock ethos is upheld via “Free,” as well as a cover of Neil Young’s “Cortez the Killer.” Psychedelic and piano-based jams such as “Leave Me Blind” and the two-part “I Wanna Know” wrestle with some Deep Purple ideas; maybe CCR too if we want to go that far.

The continued marketing of bands of this ilk to the metal crowd is a wise move, DR reckons. There are few better scenes in which to build a targeted fanbase, something Zodiac should be able to do in European territories and possibly here, where they are slated to open for Monster Magnet shortly after the album’s release. They might not hit the Graveyard or Witchcraft tip yet, but with some good old fashion rocking and hard rock, Zodiac could enter the equation.

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