Wednesday, 27 February 2013
Midnight Zombie Alligator - Nova Sico (album review)
The album starts off, ballsily enough with three songs that tip the scales at over ten minutes a piece. "Colourful Darkness" takes the mood of opening titles music from a zombie movie and expands upon it. The opening piano figure perfectly captures the somber mood of a horror flick, supported by synthesized strings, cymbal swells and ethereally haunting guitar. At ten minutes, it's an unusually long intro, but there's nothing really usual about this record altogether. "Cuerno Meseta" begins to open things up in a stoner rock direction while still retaining that old horror flick sensibility with a slow but catchy riff that drones relentlessly. Ten minutes into this twelve minute track, the listener finally hears Moreno's voice for the first time. After twenty minutes of instrumental music, we get our first taste of Moreno's perfectly suited slightly smoked-out voice and penchant for catchy melody.
The reverb-drenched title track spans eleven minutes of its own and encapsulates the feeling of unsheltered terror in the night while retaining a slow stoner doom sensibility. "Taste My Flesh" moves in those rarified circles known as 'anthems', if there ever were one for zombie victims, this is it and that's for sure! A more than satisfying riff with a catchy chorus and a simple message that's easy enough for anybody to understand: that's an anthem alright. The next track "Corpus Earthling" continues the more traditional stoner rock tone and sticks out like a sore thumb, it being the only real basic, three-minute song on the whole album, it is also the only track to veer away from the somber mood / midtempo pace. It's the 'action scene' of the album, if you will.
The band returns to the key-laden soundtrack feel on the final track "Patient Zero", only this time with vocals. I can't say this piano-driven ballad will appeal to every stoner / doom fan, but it does fit with the album and the story, completing the tale. It also builds slowly to an epic Led Zeppelin by the seaside kind of feeling. I don't want to tell you how the story ends but I think it's somewhat up to interpretation if you haven't read the accompanying narrative or seen the video. There's no surprise ending or sound effects in the music, but there's a subtle tone to the final riff which should send the shivers a rattling the spine.
Like 'The Wall' or 'Tommy' before it, 'Nova Sico' is a true concept album, not a collection of regular songs that happen to tell a longer story, but a narrative with a strong sensitivity towards storytelling built with atmosphere and also long on hooks.
Highlights include: "Taste My Flesh" and "Cuerno Meseta"
Total Run Time: 51:59
Alejandro Moreno: Vocals, Drums, Keyboards
David Trillo: Guitars, Vocals
Toni Pérez: Bass, Choirs
From: Barcelona, Spain
Genre: Stoner, Psychedelic, Prog
Reminds me of: Goblin, Pink Floyd, Zombi 2
Release Date: November 30, 2012
Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: Find the cure within.
*special thanks to Sludgelord for introducing me to MZA via this review
MZA official website