Zippo with their third album "Maktub" created an amazingly intelligent, surprising piece of work. These guys are very talented musicians and Maktub proves it to anyone defies it. For this one I'll quote Antrea Contanzo's review from Doomantia because it matches perfectly with my point of view:
"It's with a mixture of joy and sadness that I have to type the following phrase: the new album by Zippo is incredibly good, so good and strong that it will hardly have the success it deserves in our own country. That's the harsh truth. Guys like Zippo, which are able to create an album like “Maktub”, that not only sounds great but also says something new and shows that there are bands in the scene that could become giants, are ignored or scoffed at in Italy.
That sad, wow.
The guys wanted to make something big. Actually, bigger. Huge. One can already see it by the Cd's magnificent artwork by Bass player Stonino. It's a package that makes you want to collect the album and makes you excited for what you're about to hear. And since as you press play, you get hit and rewarded with, possibly, one of the most intense and intelligent pieces of Heavy Rock of the year. The sound, perfected by the capable hands of Victor Love and James Plotkin (Khanate, SunnO))), Baroness), is like a machine of unpredictable intelligent heaviness. The riffs are huge, full of sudden turns towards groove, melody or mysteriously hypnotic spiraling. The whole band sounds perfectly oiled, delivering songs that are increasingly complex, crushing, and mesmerizing as the album progresses.
While at first, thanks also to Davide's impressive vocal performance, you will bang your head and be drawn in by their Stoner-ish grooves with touches of intelligent Post-Metal, the record will unfold and you'll just get joyfully trapped into an architecture of complex structures, moments of jamming, tension and release, explosions of heaviness, sudden phases of eerie quiet.
With the added guest appearances of Orange Goblin's Ben Ward or Zu's saxophonist Luca T Mai, the album just defies any categorization, like the great albums by late Mastodon, Kylesa or Baroness did. What you have here is a bold, intelligent, heavy, powerful explosion of sound that will get your heart on a first listen and grow more and more on you as you replay it. Possibly one of my favourite records this year and a must have."