It's taken Indiana's Exotic Animal Petting Zoo nearly 4 years to release the follow-up to their debut I Have Made My Bed In Darkness, but Tree of Tongues, their latest for MediaSkare, sees the band once again creating some intense experimental music that combines metal, hardcore, pop, prog, and just about everything in between. As with their debut, you can hear influences like Dillinger Escape Plan, Deftones, King Crimson, Captain Beefheart, Between the Buried and Me, and Mr. Bungle, but EAPZ have really grown into their own skin here on Tree of Tongues, and the results are pretty damn impressive.
Fans of the 'herky jerky' style that lulls you into a lovely pop trance one minute and then bashes you over the head with extreme metallic fury the next will no doubt find much to enjoy here. Tracks like "You Make Wonderful Pictures" and "Thorough" have some seriously catchy clean vocal passages littered with memorable hooks, but just as soon as you start singing along the band then launches into an all-out ballistic attack with screams, crushing guitar riffs and pounding rhythms. EAPZ can wow you with complex passages of math rock intensity, but they don't choose to go that route too often, instead cramming in layers and layers of sound that provide plenty of clues to the overall picture. Whether it's the pop-meets-hardcore fury of "Apis Bull", the metallic "Thorough Modern", or the proggy "M.U.M.B.", there's variety and experimentation at every corner. "Whore of Babel" is a boiling, twisting cornocopia of brutal sounds, and "Arcology" might just be the most adventurous song this band has written yet, filled with grand progressive metal soundscapes and layers of vocal styles that never fail to impress.
Exotic Animal Petting Zoo are a band that are seemingly doing everything right-there's no cliche ridden riffs, arrangements, or lyrics to be found on Tree of Tongues, just a wealth of addicting vocals, trippy soundscapes, the right amount of brutality, and loads of experimentation. This is a band that has all the tools to be huge, and this latest CD should help them gain even more exposure to the masses.
- Through The Thicket…Across Endless Mountains
- You Make Wonderful Pictures
- Apis Bull
- The Great Explainer
- Kaspar Hauser Could See The Stars In The Daytime
- Gypsy Among The Pines
- Whore Of Babel