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This Put Me to Sleep... In A Good Way - 93%

Roffle_the_Thrashard, June 23rd, 2015

I fell into a slumber after listening to the many different sounds made by this four piece powerhouse from Bath, England called Sergeant Thunderhoof. It absolutely baffled me as to how good their music was. They play everything across the spectrum of stoner metal, with some sludgy, doomy parts put in to make the band's sound fatter. The crushing riffs were like elephants stomping about, and the slow, relaxing sections were so soothing to the ear. Take all of that, and throw on a detailed, trippy piece of art for a cover, and you have the Zigurat EP.

There is something to be said for a metal band that can so easily contrast their heavy parts with softer sections. Zigurat is Sergeant Thunderhoof's demonstration of this wonderful ability. "Pity for the Son" is a perfect example of this. It opens up with a cool, airy, low verse in which the drums and bass are plodding along with a guitar playing light chords and Dan Flitcrofts vocals weaving in and out of the swirl. And then with little warning it hits you. A Black Sabbath style, bluesy riff that's propelled by the drumming of Darren Ashman demolishes the peaceful sounds that you were listening to. And it's a mammoth of a riff. This cycle loosely repeats with the hot and cold contrast, and it never will leave you bored. Other songs that follow a similar sound formula are "Lunar Worship" and "Om Asato Ma Sadgamaya," and "After Burner." The odd ball here is "Devil Whore." I wasn't too moved by the melodies and riffs used in it. They were still very heavy and weighty. Let's face it. We aren't listening to the music in that song, but to the sensual and malevolent lyrics. They leave a sour, yet enjoyable taste in your musical memory.

The stand out person of this release is Dan Flitcroft. My hat is off to this amazing singer. It was so nice to hear some clean vocals for a change, and Flitcroft's soulful wails were just what the doctor ordered. He can sing purely at low volumes like in "Lunar Worship," and then he just belts out melodic blasts in the choruses of "Pity For The Son." My runner-up here would be guitarist Mark Sayer. The man can improvise like it's first grade math and does so effortlessly. He with a little help from his musical partner Jim Camp, lay down the monstrous riffs that this band can groove to.

I mention in this review's title that Zigurat put me to sleep in a good way. "Pity For The Son," my favorite song in Zigurat, made me so relaxed that I dozed off. This EP's aura is just so mellow and fuzzy that it will rub off on you. Basically, listen to this if you want to become freakishly calm and laid-back.

The only things that I didn't like about the EP was the length of "Lunar Worship" and the annoying pause with the cacophonous feedback near the end of "Devil Whore." As nice as the improvised jam session was at the end of "Lunar Worship," it just dragged for what seemed like forever. And as for the pause in "Devil Whore," all I have to say is that it was a bad idea. Sergeant Thunderhoof put the slightest smudge on what could have been a perfect song.

It's just too bad that not a whole lot of people know of this band, because I think that they have the potential to do great things. If the rest of Sergeant Thunderhoof's releases are even better than this, then they will be instant hits. Try listening to this bad boy after exercising or a long day at work/school. It beats lying on the couch any day.