ZODIAC - A Hiding Place

Zodiac - A Hiding Place

9 songs
50:15 minutes
***** ***


Zodiac from the German town of Münster is a hard rock band which is also open for occasional retro rock and blues moments. The band was founded by guitarist Stefan Gall after his melodic metal band Misery Speaks broke up. Drummer Janosch Rathmer should also be better known from his other band Long Distance Calling. After an EP and the debut A Bit Of Devil, it is now time for A Hiding Place, the second longplayer by Zodiac.

The opener and single Downtown shows instantly how important the retro component is to Zodiac. The guitars remind strongly of AC/DC, and the vocals are not unlike those of John Garcia (Kyuss, Slo Burn, Unida, Hermano). The following Free is a blues rock influenced track that comes with a longer guitar solo. The Hammond organ adds to the music’s authenticity and also allows for comparisons to Deep Purple. Zodiac’s repertoire is incredibly varied and therefore one shouldn’t be too surprised by the rock ballad Leave Me Behind which comes with so much bombast that it could have been written by rock heavyweight Meat Loaf. Moonshine is a somewhat longer track with less vocal parts. Despite the long instrumental passages, the song never loses tension. Two quieter tracks follow before the band is rocking relentlessly on the two final songs. The concluding Cortez The Killer is a perfectly done cover version of a Neil Young classic.

A Hiding Place is a pleasant surprise by a still rather new band whose music can be listened to under any circumstances. I personally prefer their classic rock sound to their more blues oriented songs, but fans of retro infused rock will certainly find a lot to like on this album.

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