PSALM ZERO is a new band that consists of respected avant-garde rock musician Charlie Looker (ex-Extra Life/Zs) and Andrew Hock of CASTEVET. With two such musicians coming together to work on a project together, one can only imagine the result that would culminate when their two respective musical backgrounds ultimately clash. Considering Looker (vocals/bass/synths/programming) and Hock’s (guitars/vocals) musical outputs have been unique and genre defining in their own respective scenes and repertoires, the result that ends up as PSALM ZERO sees the duo create intriguing experimental metal with pounding rhythms that complement melodic moments, Looker’s distinct vocals in dialogue with Hock’s harsh vocals, and an interesting amalgam of programmed synth and drum parts with electronic beats also finding their way into the mix.
Nov 2013 saw the duo self-release their “Force My Hand” 7”EP where people would get a taste of what PSALM ZERO had to offer, along with the duo playing a good handful of local shows in the NY area where they would begin to make an impression. With their debut album “The Drain”, which was recorded by legendary producer Martin Bisi (Swans, Jim Jarmusch, Sonic Youth, Helmet, Bill Laswell, John Zorn etc.), PSALM ZERO will be set to deliver one of the more artistically inclined and unique heavy music albums in the first half of 2014.
Agalloch is very much an acquired taste, and this is the best gateway Bandcamp has to offer. The musicianship and songwriting showcased here are undeniably masterful. Normally, tunelessly growling vocals might kill my enjoyment, but Agalloch's relatively quiet, sometimes whispered approach to such (barely) works for me. 4.5/5 Eirian