The third album is commonly considered the major stumbling block for aspiring bands, but the Münster-based blues rock outfit Zodiac not only elegantly circumnavigates this cliff, but in “Sonic Child” has delivered their masterpiece. On the sequel to the critics' favourite “A Hiding Place” (e.g. ‘album of the month’ in the German publications Rock Hard and Guitar), the four musicians impressively demonstrate that they are consistently pursuing their path as pioneers of New Classic Rock Made in Germany.
Conceptually “Sonic Child” centres on the topic of the one true love: music. “As a child, you hear music in its most original form. You are not concerned with the picture of the band, their style or image; you just listen to the music and have an impression of your own”, as the band describes the orientation of the album's content. The intro intentionally sends the listener down a wrong track; one could think that the Alan Parsons Project have spontaneously decided to compose a sequel to their classic “I Robot”. But already on the second track, the rhythmically playful and heavily groovy “Swinging On The Run”, Zodiac leave no doubt that they are still at home in a bluesy sound and are happy to remain so.
The laid-back title track and the subsequent “Holding On” are fiery mid-tempo songs which, due to complexly structured vocals and a catchy chorus, stick with the listener. Further highlights such as the acoustic ballad “Sad Song”, the driving reminder of ZZ Top “Out Of The City” (which is being released as a split 7” together with Audrey Horne) or the slide-guitar backdrop to the Wild West Epic “A Penny And A Dead Horse” bear witness to the fact that on “Sonic Child” Zodiac lay great store by variety and will not settle for compromises. That the band have found their sound is borne out by Nick van Delft and his fellow band members in “Rock Bottom Blues”. Stylistically, the dusty and imploring 9-minute song can best be compared with the powerful drone of “Coming Home” from their debut “A Bit Of Devil”. But the best statement on their artistic vision is pronounced at the very end: “Just Music”. Yes, this is what it's all about!
From professional circles, enthusiastic voices are already to be heard. Blues guitarist Henrik Freischlader (who was involved in producing the album's vocals) characterises “Sonic Child” as “A well-made, diverse album. It sounds powerful and surprises with stunning and catchy melodies.” Kamchatka bassist and former Opeth organist Per Wiberg expresses a similar opinion in stating that “this passionate band once again fine-tunes their very own brand of Classic Rock”. Grand Magus and Spiritual Beggars drummer Ludwig “Ludde” Witt adds: “Good singing, good playing. It always makes me happy to hear a hard rock band that has both feet heavily routed in the blues." And last but certainly not least, the album’s producer, Martin Meinschäfer / Megaphon Tonstudios (The Donots, Philipp Boa & The Voodooclub, Long Distance Calling, etc.) is also euphoric: “I have rarely experienced a band that is so soulfully inspired by music like Zodiac. They love what they do, every single tone demonstrates that...”.
In the last years Zodiac managed to establish a solid reputation as an extremely prolific live-act, having most recently toured Europe together with Grand Magus, Audrey Horne and the Vintage Caravan to great critical acclaim. Also as support act for genre-acts such as Orchid, Spiritual Beggars, Blues Bills or even the Sword, respectively on legendary open air festivals such as Hellfest (FR), Freak Valley (DE) or Rock Hard Festival (DE), as well as with an appearance on WDR's Rockpalast did they make their mark.
After the four-piece around drummer Janosch Rathmer (Long Distance Calling) and singer/lead guitarist Nick van Delft was founded (rhythm guitarist Stephan Gall and bass player Ruben Claro joined shortly after), Zodiac’s debut album “A Bit Of Devil” was already frenetically received by the European music press. The second album “A Hiding Place” seamlessly continued this aspiring trend and fortified Zodiac's name as the best German blues rock band. In 2014 with “Sonic Child” and their first headliner tour of Europe, Zodiac are taking the next step on their way into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame. The upcoming tour will also be used to record Zodiac's first live LP.
Fans of ZZ Top, Free, Thin Lizzy as well as of modern acts such as Joe Bonamassa, Howlin' Rain or Rival Sons, be on the lookout! Zodiac have ten new arrows sure to hit in their quiver which, as of September, will be fired on record as well as live.
Zodiac Line-Up 2014:
Nick Van Delft - Vocals & Lead Guitar
Stephan Gall - Rhythm Guitar
Janosch Rathmer - Drums & Percussion
Ruben Claro - Bass & Organ
S/T – Demo CD/EP 2011
A Bit Of Devil – CD/LP 2012
Downtown – 7” EP 2013
A Hiding Place – CD/LP 2013
Out Of the City – Split 7” EP 2014
Sonic Child – CD/2LP 2014
Road Tapes Vol. 1 - CD/2LP 2015