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Delirium > Zzooouhh > Reviews
Delirium - Zzooouhh

The Dutch and their weed - 75%

colin040, October 25th, 2021

How many Celtic Frost-inspired doom/death metal bands does one need in their life? While this would clearly depend on your love for Celtic Frost and doom/death metal, I’m actually amazed by the different results that we’ve got from all these bands to begin with and hence I’m convinced that this style will never get old. Sure, the sounds of Divine Eve, Cianide, Winter and Delirium, as well as many others could be traced all the way back to To Mega Therion to a certain degree, yet plenty of these had their own take on this kind of style.

Zzooouhh may be one wacko title, but it’s a decent mish-mash of grooves, inhuman vocals and smashing guitar work that's responsible for the band’s sense of dynamics. Indeed, this couldn’t sound further from your slow-motion collapse that Winter expressed, as Delirium are more of an instant band that move into captivating death metal territory as much as they evoke cryptic doom metal, yet they don’t do so in the way that Cianide circa ’92-’94 did either. Zzooouhh works for me because the execution sounds fresh and inspiring enough - that coarse guitar tone is partially responsible for my joy, but the surprising riffs are responsible for the variation and fluent tempo changes of these songs and frankly, you’re never exactly sure what to expect. Of course, it never takes long before an obvious nod to Celtic Frost makes it between the faster and pure doom passages, yet despite the band’s dear love for this band, calling Zzooouhh plain Celtic Frost worship would be too unrealistic. Just hear how ‘’The Sign of Urth’’ combines those hardcore punk-inspired riffs, some grinding death metal fury and some faithful Celtic Frost-esque rhythms with good measurements - if we’d be dealing with actual Celtic Frost worship, then any other influences wouldn't have been this notable, right?

Regardless of its quality and the many ideas that it possesses, Zzooouhh is something that I have to be in the mood for though, as I tend to forget about the record’s details once I haven’t heard it in a while. I also can’t help but notice that it doesn’t make a fantastic start, as the first few tracks display a variety of moods and musical ideas with rather mediocre results. Delirium refrain from dragging on, but once they speed up, they don’t always deliver; as the six minute long songs like ‘’The Warrior’’ and ‘’Amputation’’ lack those addictive and top-class riffs to justify their lengths. Sure, the band absolutely tries to build up and release tension here, but the faster riffs appear as if they were used for variation’s sake more than anything else; clearly lacking some fire when compared to the far superior tremolos that are present elsewhere. It’s a shame because the mid-paced ones actually do work a lot better; especially that catchy verse riff before the first minute mark of ‘’The Warrior’’ and the frightening crawling of ‘’Amputation’’ promise a lot. ‘’Bitch’’ isn’t much fun to begin with either, but I guess that’s to be expected with a title like that and while you can easily detect the Celtic Frost and Death influences in this track, the result is something surprisingly tame. Say what you want about Tom Warrior and Chuck Schuldiner before they had decided to become artsy and whatnot, but their earlier stuff remains raw works of extreme metal with plenty of appealing factors and you can’t say that about this track itself now, can you? I suppose that taking influences from the right kind of bands doesn’t always pay off after all, but it's a bit of a bummer.

Over time I’ve also noticed that my preference leans towards side B of the album, as ‘’Flood of Intricate’’ sounds rather refreshing compared to the earlier tracks that aren’t too compelling to begin with. It introduces the most horror-esque doom metal riffs that harken back to early Cathedral, before gradually picking up with some Celtic Frost-esque rhythm work; ‘’Visions of Immortality’’ and ‘’Return to the Eve’’ to be specific - but of course, taking inspiration of two heavy-as-hell bands is always a good idea. ‘’Menace Unseen’’ is another banger that doesn’t reveal its main theme right away, but gets a lot closer to the death metal territory once the vocalist pulls off a wicked Chuck Schuldiner-esque shriek and those fiery tremolos appear and I’m also fond of that unexpected break when even the guitars start to wail like banshees. Saving the most surprising track for the last, ‘’Beyond the Gates of the Afterdead’’ is a nine minute track that consists of a variety of unique sub-chapters, yet I’d argue that it mainly consists of two divided sections. During the first few minutes, a constant shift of moods drive the song onward; ranging from the crawling opening to that Celtic Frost-flavored bursting verse with one of the most infectious riffs on the record to the rabid thrashing that appears shortly after. Second of all, the track takes a far more grandiose turn by the time those driving drums lead toward that steamrolling death metal section and eventually to that creepy outro. I find it quite strange how this nine minute long track works just fine considering that the two six minute tracks don't...but one out of three is better than nothing, wouldn't you say so?

Delirium’s Zzooouhh isn’t a favorite of mine in the doom/death metal field, but it does serve my needs rather well once I yearn for more Celtic Frost-inspired doom/death metal. It's pretty neat stuff…just don’t think too much about the album title’s meaning; it probably makes more sense once you’re high.

This review was originally written for antichristmagazine.com

Dutch Warrior-fetishists succeed on cool album - 80%

caspian, July 15th, 2012

As the previous few reviewers will likely tell you, it's pretty much completely impossible not to mention Celtic Frost every time you pick up the keyboard and try writing a few words on this very cool, very underrated, very celtic frost slab of celtic frost celtic frost celtic frost, er, cool dutch doom/death album.

It's cool in that while the swiss aesthetics are there (ugly riffs, total disregard for melody), the songwriting that so many frost-ish bands lack is also there in full swing. Tension's always thick in the air (that weird, high pitched breakdown in Bitch), tempo changes come in when they should, basically you just never get bored. I like how things like lead guitar and really, really slow doom bits (Amputation) are more of an exclamation mark than something that becomes staid and boring. There's a tendency towards thrash parts -everywhere the frost love really comes through- such as the very cool and surprisingly accessible title track. It'd be cool if shit got really fast occaisonally and it's a shame it never really happens; can't really complain though. These guys do anywhere up to maybe 160 bpm really well; a lot of bands can't get a single tempo/feel right! Maybe it never reaches neck breaking speeds but there's plenty of fresh parts on offer here; a fascinating variety of ugly, chunky, misshapen riffs.

That frostian riffing style aside, the production's the other big thing here. It's not bad; dank, dirty, real cavernous; rather unique, just that the guitar needs to be louder! The rough, reverb tinged vocals - I definitely get the feeling that if they were less aggressive and more Warrior-esque no one would call this death doom and it would just be straight out "Celtic Frost tribute", but no matter- and cavernous, not-good-sounding-but-perfect-for-the-album drums are great, just the guitar and bass have to be turned up. It's some what weird how a lot of very early death doom has real thin guitars; you'd think that'd be the main priority for the people recording this? Ultimately this didn't really make the album any less enjoyable; it still crushes, still thick as molasses, but.. yeah. What mighta been, I guess.

Overall this is a simple, really enjoyable album. Uglier than the back of your knee, heavier than a pineapple the size of a small yacht. Well arranged, well put together. Worth checking out!

Dutch delirium about certain Swiss band! - 89%

dismember_marcin, January 10th, 2011

Within two years since their formation Delirium managed to put together two demos and finally also a debut LP in 1990, after signing a deal with Prophecy Records. Great tempo, I have to say, especially if you compare it to some other bands, which let us wait for their album even twenty years (come on Sadistic Intent!). Anyway, "Zzooohhh" (which you pronounce like Polish word for "scout" hehe) is a damn classic to me and I hold this vinyl with great admiration! What’s more, maybe this music sounds bit outdated nowadays, but I just can hardly find any faults in this piece of old school shit.

Just imagine if you take the best parts from such bands as Asphyx, Autopsy, Necroschizma, some doomy patterns from Winter, and add the biggest influence – Celtic Frost… And this is Delirium and "Zzooohhh". Great band and great album! First of all, I really like the sound “Zzooohhh” has got. It is very powerful and strong, gives the songs enormous energy, while keeping the raw edge that early death metal albums had. For the production I definitely give “Zzooohhh” at least 9 out of 10!

The albums starts with weird “The Ninth Dimension” intro and then attacks with an oldie, “The Warrior" song originally from the second demo. Great death metal anthem indeed. Well, “Zzooohhh” has all four tracks from “Amputation” demo re-recorded actually and I have to say they all got totally different strength on the LP. They were good on the demo, but with this killer sound of “Zzooohhh” they just shred. Fuckin’ great songs, with brilliant riffs, some sickening guitar solos, heavy bass and mutilating drumming… Oh, and don’t forget the great van Drunen-esque vocals of Mark Hanout. You'll find an example in the catchiness of “Amputation” and fast riffage of “Menace Unseen”, which make them one of the best songs from the album. Another old song is “Beyond The Gates Of Afterdeath”, originally from the very first demo! And this is a great surprise, because debut Delirium demo wasn’t much interesting, but this very slow and doomy track – with growled vocals this time, while the demo version had different, not so brutal, kind of singing – sounds almost completely different and better of course. It is now much more heavy and raw, I’m almost surprised how much did they manage to transform rather average track from a bad demo tape into such highlight – and what’s more, this almost 10 minute long death / doom anthem is one of the best tracks on the LP, really really great stuff.

And what about the new Delirium tracks? Well, there are three new anthems – “Bitch”, “Voice From Zzooohhh” and “The Sign Of Urth”. “Bitch” for instance is totally slow and has some patterns totally inspired by Tom Warrior, but it is great song. All three are pretty standard doomy death metal tracks, but I wouldn’t take is as disadvantage – they’re really great and I can’t imagine someone liking ASPHYX (and Celtic Frost of course!) who wouldn’t fancy DELIRIUM. To conclude then – very, very good album from totally underrated band; a classic you shouldn’t miss!

Thank you, Celtic Frost - 90%

UncleMeat, May 25th, 2009

There is no denying that Hellhammer and Celtic Frost were two of the most influential metal bands of all time. While some took this influence and incorporated it with an array of different elements from other pre-existing genres, others took the ideas that the aforementioned had and took them to the next extreme. In this case, Holland’s Delirium fall into the latter of the two categories. Like the US doom cults, Winter and Goatlord (although Winter were much more doom-oriented), Delirium took the basic elements from Celtic Frost and Hellhammer and fused with crushing, heavily doom-laden death metal, and the end result was some truly remarkable. ‘Zzooouhh’ is an excellent album, and has gone down in history as one of the finest Hellhammic Frost-worshipping slabs of black wax to have ever been released.

The production on here is a bit odd, but most of its weirdness lies in the guitar department. As opposed to being pushed up in the mix and having a crushing, thick, meaty tone, it is actually pretty quiet, and has more of a creamy tone then anything else. And oddly enough, the two LPs from the other bands I mentioned (Goatlord and Winter), all have the same exact problem: somewhat thin sounding guitar tones that were mixed too low. However, like those two albums, the music more then makes up for it, so in the end, it’s not really a big deal. But other then that, the production is great. The bass has a rich, strong, clean tone and the drums were mixed properly and hold enough power to make up where the guitar is lacking.

‘Zzooouhh’ reminds me of a mixture of ‘To Mega Therion’, ‘Scream Bloody Gore’ and ‘Apocalyptic Raids’, and from that description alone, you know it just has to be a great album. One of the best parts is Mark Hanout’s utterly sickening vocals. He sounds like a more low-pitched John Tardy, but he does on occasion use the higher register when he does his “eeuuuuuuugggggghhhhHHAAASSSSSSS”. These kinds of vocals are ideal when it comes to this form of death/doom, and although they are commonly used, they are usually not pulled off quite like this fella. When I say they are sickening, I mean really, really vile, muculent, putrid, and gut-wrenching.

Luckily the music is equally as well done as the vocals, as this really is some of finest death/doom you will ever come across. The riffing is fantastic, and shows that technicality is not a prerequisite for quality metal. In fact, these riffs would be nowhere near as heavy as they are if the band decided to throw in a bunch of pointless widdely-wahs and poorly placed pinch harmonics. I’d say they keep it to a slow or mid-tempo pace about 70% of the album, and they do so without ever making it sound stale or overdone. They definitely know how to use restraint and move from tempo to tempo coherently. Although this album doesn’t necessarily require the world’s best drummer, the one they use on here does a decent job anyway, and adequately keeps up with the crawling sections as well as the faster ones. His double bass skills could use a little improving, but it’s not bad enough to hinder the overall force of the band.

‘Zzooouhh’ is an excellent slab of death/doom done in the vein of the ancients, and adds to their unique touch by drawing some elements from their country’s death metal scene as well, and ultimately make one hell of a album. I’d recommend hunting this down to all fans of REAL, old school, death/doom. But if you’re looking for more homo-erotic goth shit, then look elsewhere, as this album is not for you.

Sweet, Celtic Frost Worshipping, Doom Death - 87%

Fatal_Exposure, November 23rd, 2006

This is some pretty cool stuff. Anyone who is into old death metal or doom-death would most likely enjoy this album. This has strong ties to the doomier Scandinavian death metal scene of the old days, rather than to the Floridian (Deicide, Morbid Angel) or NY (Suffocation, Immolation, Revenant) styles. Most accurate comparisons to other bands would be Obituary, Decomposed (uk), Winter (us), Sorrow, early Pungent Stench, Divine Eve, and Bolt Thrower.

The riffs are all here, check out "Bitch" for some good doom riffs and headbanging. This stuff is well done, straight forward, doom-death. There's also a healthy dose of Celtic Frost worship on this album, which is of course a welcomed thing. Just listen to "Amputation" to hear the great CF worship. Other highlights are: the best song on the album - "Floods of Intricate," which is complete CF ownership, "The Warrior," "Menace Unseen," and "The Sign of Urth."

This is a great album, no fillers here. The only complaint I have is that I wish the production was a bit thicker, especially the guitar sound, but that is a really minor complaint. If you’re into any of the above mentioned bands or other bands like, God Macabre, Abhoth, Demigod, Pyogenesis, Suppuration, Stonehange, Dusk, Disembowelment, Autopsy, or Dream Death, then you probably know what’s up anyway and should go ahead and grab this nice little, sweet, Dutch obscurity. Cheers.