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Blackish, Punkish, Deathish - 83%

flightoficarus86, February 26th, 2015

Zom is a blackened death metal band from Colorado. Another tasty surprise from Dark Descent Records, it was the first one to catch my ear in 2015. If you liked what you heard from the last Malthusian EP and are dying like me for a full length release, this may help scratch that itch in the meantime. Flesh Assimilation sports similar production and vocals, but is faster and groovier. There is a crust punk vibe permeating through the drums, but the riffs are still the jangly tremolos of blackened thrash.

The vocal approach, for those not familiar with my previous reference to Malthusian, can be described as a grim, cavernous, howling. The echo and reverb provide a hellish quality without detracting from the already imposing performance. Production is raw, but more in line with early Slayer albums than the pure kvlt of Darkthrone or Burzum. And the 80’s thrash references don’t stop at the sound quality. The occasional chaotic solo is not something out of the ordinary for Zom either.

If asked to provide a little more detail about Zom, I am hard pressed. The only further impression I can give is to drop a few names of artists whose fans might gravitate towards it: early Behemoth, late Darkthrone, Slayer, Absu, Gorgoroth, Mayhem, Taake, Vader, and Pig Destroyer. Hopefully the diversity of that list will help illustrate the various sounds at play.

Bottom line: this is a fun album. I was tapping my feet and bobbing my head throughout the duration; something of a quantifier for me these days. While Flesh Assimilation is not necessarily doing anything new, its genre fusions and tight compositions place it above many similar acts. Furthermore, the length is perfect: it doesn’t overstay its welcome, nor does it leave you feeling shorted. Check the album out for yourself at their Bandcamp. You can thank me later.