After releasing EP “Faust” earlier this year, Cannibal Zoo have returned with an effort that burns slower, but is equally fulfilling – the EP “Sunset”. Aural hallmarks are still present; thoughtful guitar work, slow building synths, and masterful, cavernous vocal performances.
Eight minutes strong track “Witchcraft” properly opens the short player. It is long, but builds gorgeously. Unique warm, clean guitar inversions underpin a yearning vocal from Anders Rødgaard Bojesen, before opening up with scattered percussion.
“Vandalism” marks the EP’s high point, and emotional apex. There is a beautiful vocal interplay between leads Bojesen and Karen Damgaard, set amongst heavenly backing “ahhs”. Bojesen pleads, “release me”, setting a trail of reverb far into the otherwise tranquil backing swell.
Musically, there are little flashes of Mew here. The analogue poly synths that sway in and out on interlude track “Sunset” wouldn’t sound out of place on album “No More Stories…”, but are done in a way that sits with Cannibal Zoo’s less theatrical approach.
On “Sunset”, the band strips back a sound that was already stripped back. On rare occasion, this doesn’t fully work. Where “Faust” made use of double tracking particular vocals, “Sunset” largely lays voices bare. While it seems a conscious decision to strip back, the piece misses a sense of urgency. However, in laying their music out in this fashion, Cannibal Zoo succeeds with a magical ear for restraint. This light touch harnesses emotion in a unique way, painting stories and feelings without explicitly stating them, subtly hinting at shared human experiences which both plague and lift us. As a mini-unit, “Sunset” is a grand statement in low-key sophistication.