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VAULTS OF ZIN

Zeuhl • United States


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Vaults Of Zin biography
From Denton (Texas), this quartet is composed of Shane HUTCHINSON at bass and vocals, Greg DIXON at guitar and violin, Rob BUTTRUM at drums and Stephen LUCAS at synth. Their debut album is strongly influenced by MAGMA even if they don't have operatic vocals, but with their second output they have shifted toward the experimental metal, also following the change from clean vocals to scream (not growl). The band has similarities and has been compared to KAYO DOT. Their music is dark and the first full length album, KADATH, is inspired to the novel of H.P. LOVECRAFT.

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VAULTS OF ZIN discography


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VAULTS OF ZIN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.83 | 4 ratings
Kadath
2016

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VAULTS OF ZIN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.90 | 2 ratings
Vaults Of Zin
2011

VAULTS OF ZIN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Kadath by VAULTS OF ZIN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.83 | 4 ratings

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Kadath
Vaults Of Zin Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars The Denton, TX band VAULTS OF ZIN got its start in 2011 with its self-titled release where this quartet of Rob Buttrum (drums), Greg Dixon (guitar / electric violin), Shane Hutchinson (bass / vocals) and Stephen Lucas (synthesizer) were inspired by the zeuhl rhythms of 1970s Magma along with other retro prog characteristics that once married with some modern day metal guitar distortion created a rather interesting new direction for France's most significant contribution to the prog world. It took five whole years but the band finally released its sophomore album KADATH in 2016. Both the band's name and title were inspired by H.P. Lovecraft as is the dark scary music that erupts from the five tracks.

While the Magma influences are still in play with the bubbling repetitive zeuhl rhythms providing the underpinning of the musical flow, KADATH has a more varied overall sound than the debut. Although the first album had a lot of early Univers Zero avant-prog characteristics, KADATH takes those even further with knotted angular workouts that are augmented with bizarre keyboards freakiness that would sound at home on many 70s prog extravaganzas along with very heavy guitar sounds that often crank out doom metal but more often exhibit a jittery counterpoint to the jazzy drumming and building of tension that leads to noisy crescendoes. In those ways there have been comparisons to both Toby Driver's Maudlin of the Well and Kayo Dot as well as with the more atmospheric realms of France's Nebelnest.

If you ask me though i think VAULTS OF ZIN adopt many of the characteristics of neighboring Yeti from Fort Worth where they create long sprawling psychedelic compositions that ooze on through time but are given the touches of complexity by the off-kilter drum rolls, guitar sustain and jittery chops, eerie synthesizer presence and most of all a lugubrious sounding violin that emerges from time to time. While the debut was entirely instrumental, KADATH does add some vocals here and there but for the most part KADATH eschews the vocal performances. When they do occur however, VAULTS OF ZIN sounds more like a sludge metal band with growly screams and extreme metal bravado however for the most part this one could pass as a psychedelic cosmic bypass into a strange new world. The music is more often tagged as avant-garde metal since the metal is omnipresent but just not done in a traditional metal manner.

The album is bookmarked by the longest tracks with "Amduat" rampaging onto the scene with some of the heaviest sounds on the album as doom metal riffs usher in the zeuhl rhythms and surreal atmospheres whereas the 22 minute finale "Moongate / Heart Girt With a Serpent" that pretty much summarizes the whole album with lengthy heady walks through the psychedelic pastures while implemented the bass grooves lollygag slowly with guitar feedback screeching from the background. While predominantly instrumental Shane Hutchinson screams through many segments and sounds a lot like Mastodon's Brent Hinds on vocals. This is an album that is good to get lost in as it's all about the turbulent atmospheres that take a more psychedelic version of avant-prog, adds some zeuhl rhythms and then turns it more aggressive with gnarled dissonant metal guitar sounds and vocals. Perhaps not to everyone's tastes but works for me.

 Vaults Of Zin by VAULTS OF ZIN album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
3.90 | 2 ratings

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Vaults Of Zin
Vaults Of Zin Zeuhl

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars The Dallas-Ft Worth metropolitan area of Texas has been known for many different artists covering the musical spectrum emerging from its gravitational force with metal having been some of the most successful in recent years (think Pantera, Absu, Devourment etc) but hardly limited to the more aggressive side of music. Zeuhl however is definitely not one of the strong points of this area and although the style was born on French soil and continues to be dominated by that region of the world, every once in a while a band from somewhere totally un-French emerges that takes the Magma trademark off into new directions only this one is all instrumental.

Coming from Denton, TX where the music culture mostly revolves around the University of North Texas College of Music, this distant now-suburb city of the greater DFW metroplex has become more famous for its jazz studies program rather than proggy experimental metal gone zeuhl anomalies but strange things occur in the world and in this case a band that calls itself VAULTS OF ZIN which took the zeuhl rhythms of Magma and adopted some of the psychedelic sludge metal aspects of the Fort Worth, TX band Yeti which took the space rock sounds into a more distorted and energetic avant-garde metal direction.

So exactly what does VAULTS OF ZIN mean? For video gamers it's obviously the second level of The Netherworld which is the 3rd episode of Quake which has seven levels total including another secret level, however the word ZIN also refers to a legend who can literally do everything and adapt to any situation and get along with any person. And such is this band VAULTS OF ZIN that has its cake and eats it too. Somehow this band skirts the tightrope walk of treading the world of zeuhl rhythmic reality while dishing out what sounds more like a Univers Zero style of avant-prog while adding elements of metal but it gets even weirder with the addition of an aggressive violin.

This debut EP only consists of four tracks but they still almost reach 27 minutes but so wickedly cool it is. The zeuhl rhythms dominate the soundscape but the album / EP whatever you wanna call it is very interesting in its diversity. It does come across a lot like neighboring Yeti but this debut at least is grounded in the world of zeuhl where the bass line crafts a receptive carbon-chain-like infinity groove that keeps the whole thing anchored. Guitars are delivered in both heavy chunky sludge metal sloppiness as well as freaked out psychedelic avant-prog Univers Zero styled bleakness. And then there are taped sound effects and the extra touches of the violin and tripped out synthesizers. The four songs presented here manage to be progressive, heavy and psychedelic simultaneously as well as independently. This is a great album just to get lost in and ends with some sort of Eastern chant.

Thanks to octopus-4 for the artist addition.

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