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Taking their name from the ancient Iranian philosopher name-checked by Nietzsche (whose own work inspired the Richard Strauss composition that is considered the theme song of 2001: A Space Odyssey), these Atlanta sludge-rockers do plenty of their own outer and inner space exploration on the recently released Matador. Often compared to Motörhead, Zoroaster shares the brutality of Lemmy and the gang's best songs. Singer/guitarist Will Fiore also sounds like his vocal cords must be scarred from years of abuse via screaming after chain-smoking and downing enough whiskey to kill most mortal men. But rather than take after most of the stoner rock bands of late, Zoroaster mixes in melodic atmospherics that add to the mystery of the music rather than cut its blistering intensity and bludgeoning heaviness.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.

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