Old Man Gloom

Seminar III: Zozobra

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AllMusic Review by

Released in conjunction with Seminar II, this CD contains just one track, an arching, 27-minute piece entitled "Zozobra." Far from being an afterthought, Seminar III is, if anything, even more impressive than its 17-track, hour-long counterpart. Whereas that disc more or less alternates back and forth between the group's two main sides -- the heavy hardcore/metal songs and the quieter electronic drones -- III ties those two facets together into one seamlessly flowing piece. On paper, "Zozobra" follows a fairly standard quiet-loud-quiet arc, but it does so effectively, with an excellent sense of pacing and dynamics. It begins with near-silent electronic hums and static noises before giving way to several minutes of slow, despairing guitar chords; the drums don't kick in until nearly one-third of the way, but after that point, there is plenty of heavy, almost tribal guitar riffing, accompanied by agonizing, semi-buried screams and sampled voices (mostly talking about destructive primates, in keeping with the band's running theme). The track winds down with more solemn guitar chords, some monkey noises, and a big wah-wah guitar solo, ultimately concluding with a wall of feedback and droning electronics. As atmospheric as it is aggressive, Seminar III warrants "epic" status despite its relatively short playing time. Recommended.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 27:19
blue highlight denotes track pick