Zakytuss - Don’t Forget the Days

Zakytuss Don’t Forget the Days cover
Don’t Forget the Days
Zakytuss Records Independent
Zakytuss, are an Ausie trio, comprising of singer/songwriter Michael Rinaldi who’s the bands singer and guitarist, with the band being his brain-child, augmented by Markus Saastamoinen (bass/keys/production) and Beau Karnaghan (drums/percussion) both ex-Degrees of Separation members.
Zakytuss, was the name of a garage band that Rinaldi was fronting some time ago and following a solo attempt, earlier on, that came under his own name, he has resurrected them, as a trio that’s a lot more classic “rock” oriented…
While the record was recorded on a rather small budget, the result ain’t audibly bad, at all. It’s one of the better attempts I’ve heard in self-production, clear and loud, but I’m sure, a more experienced producer, might have been able to give them a fuller, more cohesive sound...
Ah yes… the sound/style… well it’s a rock record, that seems to take a lot of different influences and unapologetically assimilate them, presenting them result through the bands own “prism”...
There are lots of Zepellin influences, the smoothness of The Doors, heck at times you can “sense” vague, Tea Party, whiffs emanating from the material... then there are more hard rock influences, with The Cult and Alice in Chains references, being quite prominent, with a bit of Black Sabbath thrown in for good measure. But through it all, the band still seems to have an identity of their own, not allowing themselves to become clones, but filtering their influences and coming up with something “fairly” original sounding. Also the band knows to refrain, from overplaying, their songs are quite straightforward, but not that “simple”, engaging, without becoming boring or self-absorbed and that’s what makes for good songwriting, really. A good hook and not really mucking about it too much.
The album is mostly atmospheric and fairly emotional, with the lyrics reflecting on people sticking to their guns, remembering, where they come from and who they have bonds with. A simple but easy to relate to message.
The opening track “Lay Down Your Love”, quickly establishes the bands intentions, rocking wildly in a way not to dissimilar to The Almighty or The Cult, only a bit more “down under”!
“Arms of Yesterday” is propelled by a nice groove, enveloped by a nice guitar riff and continues establishing the band’s style... it has a nice chorus, that you can’t help, but remember after a couple of spins and a lead, that’s not too long, as it is effective…
“Death Trap” has this chugging riff, that leads it, that’s quite awesome… and Rinldi, seems to channel a bit of Ozzy too, in his delivery, there’s a pretty demented solo, beginning with a variation of the main riff and then going wild, midway, and a hypnotic repetition of the chorus and the ensuing verses, with multi vocal layers. Quite great!
“Blues Takes” is initially key drenched, but soon it gets stripped down to a lamenting guitar and is really emotionally charged, with Rinaldi giving a quite sensational performance. There are also a couple of great solos, which have a bit of a prog, Floydesque air about them. Quite cool.
“Uncertain” begins as a ballad and switches after its intro to a more rocking mode with a great start stop riff idea, that’s quite classic. Damn, this is good!
“Don’t Forget the Days” is a lot more drifting, with this big riff, going through it… with again Rinaldi, channeling Ozzy quite a bit in the verses but what really elevates it is its very melodic and beautiful chorus... where the harmonic vocals, offer a great release, plus the rather heroic solo that is also followed by a reprisal… solo, only after a verse and chorus repetition... great little song really...
“Monsters”, starts with a nice melodic lick and goes on to grudgingly rock like a mix of 90s Cult and Alice in Chains… it’s different, bleaker, but still quite good.
“Find Your Heaven” continues, exploring a somewhat similar angle, but is “lighter”, not as heavy or depressing, more biterSWEET, I guess... again, a great effective riff, a good time and simple but inspired ideas, save the day.
“Save Someone” continues with a similar premise, but while it has a few good melodies and a stand out chorus, as a whole manages to sound quite meandering, in under four minutes, which must be quite a feat! And mind you, Zakytuss is not exactly too complex in their arrangements.
“Sanctuary” rocks things up with a “Kashmir”-rip off riff, which gives it an edgier character, but takes away a lot of originally points, thankfully its chorus, manages to stand out and a couple of nice leads over the same aforementioned riff, try to entertain the “cloan” fact… not the most original song Zakytuss have to offer, but if you overlook that riff, it's quite good actually.
“Silent Revolution” rocks pretty wildly, almost entering metal territory, just like “The Cult” did sometimes. It’s louder and brassier, but unfortunately, it’s chorus, which feels like an overextended verse, is not as great, as some others on this album even if it begins promisingly enough… with the heavier overall style of the song, I was expecting something a bit more lively... it’s not bad, per ce, just not sung out with the kind of conviction I was expecting... it’s too laid back and the song drags on a bit, length wise.
Last but not least, “All We Are” is an extremely melodic, closer, with Rinaldi, floating over simple chords, initially, only for the song to grow into a more rocking entity, in its middle, with simple guitar nuances, and a great solo running through a large portion of it. Ideal, heady and quite a lighthearted, way to close the album.
“Don’t Forget the Days” is a really great debut for this “new” Zakytuss. Honest, to the point, emotional but at the same time dynamic rock, with great ideas that translate well into songs. The production might not be as massive as they would ideally need it to be, but it's quite acceptable and adequate for a “debut”. Zakytuss, rocks, do you?