In a nutshell, Zozobra is Caleb Scofield unchained, uninhibited, and totally un-fucking-believable. In its third incarnation, Scofield strips Zozobra down to its brutal roots and recruits some old friends to round out the line up. The “old friends” in question are Scofield’s Cave In bandmates JR Connors on drums and Adam McGrath on guitars and screamaging making Zozobra v.3 all too familiar in some spots while still treading new heavy ground in others.
If you were expecting Bird Of Prey or Harmonic Tremors Mach 2 then you’ve come to the wrong house. As an ever evolving “band”, Zozobra has once again redefined themselves by getting to their bare essentials and “The Cruelest Cut” exemplifies that sentiment to a tee. With precision staccato’s serving as a prelude to the aural barrage of punk meets hardcore meets metal wrapped up in a neat little 3-minute package, “The Cruelest Cut” definitely declares that Zozobra is back. Add McGrath’s familiar riff work to the mix (especially on that breakdown at the end) and you have a Zozobra record like no other.
McGrath definitely adds some familiarity to Savage Masters as the “Cave In sound” definitely comes into play and shines a light on the particularly menacing “A Chorus Of War” or during the more straightforward “Venom Hell”. Connors is just a beast throughout taking the intensity he brought to Converge and Doomriders to new levels especially on tracks like “Born In A Blaze” and “Deathless”. At the end of the day though, this 6-track monster is all the brainchild of Scofield who completely lets loose from start to finish. There is no other voice like his in metal today and to hear a whole album of his guttural howls as opposed to the slivers in Cave In and OMG is refreshing.