ZMR/Indie Distribution (2012)
Back with their second album in as many years, “II: Kain’s Mark” from Norway’s Zaed appears on the surface to have more confidence and swagger than their Black Sabbath reference points on their debut. Inject a little up tempo, post punk punch into their normal doom/stoner rock vibe and material like “The Flight Of Hawks” and “The Shadow Man” gives us more energy and a deeper emotive desire to care about Zaed and their songwriting.
Maybe the studio buying the original desk that recorded such landmarks as “Appetite For Destruction” and “Conspiracy” let the quartet of musicians relax a little- as drummer John Austen and bassist Thomas Kvalosaeter often lock into this confident swinging groove for highlights such as “Call Unicorn” and the Alice In Chains meets Danzig effort “Fool’s Gold”. The band takes their melting pot of influences across the decades of hard rock and metal and through these 9 songs creates music that I crave again and again.
Must be something in the Scandinavian waters that brings out the best in musical output- whatever the genre- because “II: Kain’s Mark” is aggressive, raw, and primal to the core. Zaed took the necessary step up in songwriting development to become a serious force in the hard rock scene- and spread the wares to multiple facets of the live venues across the globe.
Rating: 4.5 / 6
Composed by Matt Coe