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Ireland's New Amenity of Horror - 85%

thrashtidote, June 18th, 2013

I was first acquainted with ZOM around 2012 when I heard their 2011 demo. It was a considerably discomfiting, noisy piece of hectic black/death in the vein of Diocletian and Blasphemy, and I need not say that I enjoyed myself greatly throughout the demo's 20 minute lifespan or sordid darkness. Upon hearing the Irishmen's coupling with the notorious underground imprint Iron Bonehead Productions, I was more than excited to hear fresh material from them, and I was particularly hungry as I somehow could not obtain their 2012 demo. What riveted and eventually dragged me into ZOM's unique entity ''Multiversal Holocaust'', a brief 2 song EP, is ZOM's sense of enlightenment, which was clearly visible on their previous releases, but this time offered with a more refined edge, and their sense of being able to control chaos. For some some reason, I see the latter as an aspect that seems to be hugely lacking in modern black/death/war metal groups - bands simply cram grindcore-paced songs with subterranean wrangles that reek of such giants as the ones aforementioned, and proceed to play with nearly no sense of musical realization, offering blank, banal, and canned chaos. ZOM, on the other hand, have somehow managed to overcome the majority of the hindrances that were keeping their turbulent bland of black/death fresh yet still distilled with terrifying complexity and anomaly.

What makes ZOM even more refined is that they're no longer bound to the strictly obtuse stylings of Blasphemy, Axis Of Advance, or Revenge. I'm talking about genuine riffs here, not just a convoluted enmeshment of cavernous clamor, but more diligently constructed terror that pervades with superior intensity and extremity, eventually coinciding with the listener's worst nightmares. The production, for one, despite still keeping true to its cavernous and clangorous roots, is much more accessible and somewhat spacious, granting ease for the malleability of the swerving black/thrash-oriented riffs. What's more is that the death metal aspect of ZOM has enlarged greatly. It's almost as though these broiling ruptures that seem to be a cross between Pestilence, Asphyx, Autopsy, early Death, Messiah and Ripping Corpse, wreathed in a gorgeously sodden aura of gore, channel some sort of tape echo-ridden production value (which by the way is the sole ''modern'' aspect of the EP) and seep into the listener's conscious, thus intruding with nightmarish accuracy, efficiency and intricacy. The black metal facet of ZOM is chiefly and collection of early Burzum, Mayhem's legendary ''Deathcrush'' EP, Bestial Warlust, Blasphemy, Revenge and Conqueror among a handful of others, providing riffing qualities that are both raw and razor-sharp. With all its elements infused together, ZOM sounds very much like Weregoat, another recent entrant to the black/death universe, but with a heavier, grooving sensation that limits parole just as well as it renders escapism somewhat possible for keen headbangers.

Like many of its kin, the two tracks are linked individually and separately with blood-curdling ambient passages and sequences of whose classification I still find hard to put into words. Perhaps the individual values of the riffs have gained acuteness and significance with the Irishman's reformed perspective, but the overall sound is still the cut above the rest. ZOM composes richly darkened texture with an absolutely dreadful panoply of preposterous and charred chaos, laden with technical skill and the ability to prevent salvation with all the means possible. And trust me, they have the means. It's horrific, scrupulously rotten and it's a great reminder that nightmares that be evoked during daytime with alarming determination. I'm not going to go as far as to say that this is a severed head over any other release over the last 2-3 years in the same field, but I'll have to admit that it's one of the most successful ones in that field. This is an EP that pumped so much drug in me, that I literally can't keep my ears away from monstrosities and profanities alike. You need this.

Highlights: All

Rating: 85%


Metantoine, May 14th, 2013

Coming from the wretched country of Ireland, ZOM is a promising black/death metal unit and that's their third release. I never heard their previous offerings but judging from this short 7 inches, they still need to progress to achieve their own sound. Influenced by a plethora of extreme metal sounds, ZOM is interesting but not enough to rise the echelons to attain the bestial stardom.

I sure like a dirty and noisy production and this trio apparently do too. I'm actually not quite fond of how the drums are burying the guitars especially that they're not quite special or interesting. The riffs are quite decent, their production could have been sharper and heavier though. Influenced by classic black metal bands such as Nifelheim, Blasphemy or kvlt newcomers like Adversarial and the whole Nuclear War Now ! Lineup ! ZOM incorporates thrash elements in their music with really enjoyable trashy breaks reminiscent of Slayer or Sodom. These, despite my current aversion to most things thrash these days, were the most enjoyable moments of this release. They really drive the songs to new heights and I think ZOM is at their best when they slow things down a little and show some doom/death influences. With this said, I prefer having these tasty thrash riffs over mindless, inane and useless short blurbs called solos by Revenge. There's a short Kerrykingish lead at the end of the second track Terror of the Cosmos but like I said, it's almost completely buried under the production and the drums.

I also really appreciate their atmospheric tendencies and their short but tasty samples of lamentations and similar dark shit. I feel they're not quite apt at really using their occult atmosphere though, it feels incomplete and I'm sure they could serve a better purpose, the 2 songs are both almost six minutes but they could really reach the seven or eight minutes mark without any problems (and in fact, there's an 8 minutes version of the title track on their previous demo...too bad they edited the song!)

Both songs are stopping abruptly, I think they suffer from coitus interruptus. They could easily breathe better and have the sufficient amount of time to grow into full fledged epic numbers like B├┤lzer who's also on Iron Bonehead records. I think there's an avalanche of riffs, yes, but it's way too condensed. Still, ZOM are good at building bestial and old school metal and at creating an eerie, occult feel throughout the 12 minutes release. As reflected by the great but simple album art, the band has a cool imagery but they need to push the envelope further with a stronger songwriting to reflect that.

I think ZOM (fuck, I like to say their name, ZOM, ZOM, ZOM!!!) has a lot of potential and I'm looking forward to their first full length album but for now, I can't say the band is ready to be Satan's house band. Get drunker, guys and do more complex evil incantations !

Check out the review on my blog!

God save us all - 88%

autothrall, May 13th, 2013

First heard of ZOM a couple years ago when folks were buzzing over their demo, and admittedly there's a certain novelty to the fact that they hail from Dublin, Ireland. Not the first place one thinks of when mentally referencing hotbeds of ugly, harrowing, old school death metal darkness, but this particular trio is obviously not privy to such generalizations, since they evoke one of the most wretched and entertaining sounds I've heard in this entire 'return to the roots' movement so popular in the past five years. Fusing together elements of raw black and death metal with an occasional death/doom sense of motion, I can only imagine that the Multiversal Holocaust 7" EP resembles the sound of the devil in the throes of a terribly painful bowel movement. You might think I mean that as some sort of 'slight', but no, in fact, I think this is quite genuinely fucking awesome. ZOM throws all sense of intricacy, caution and taste to the wind, and it blows back septic, sulfurous and eminently rotten.

The title track ranges from ritual, dark intro ambiance, to a noisy, blasting epileptic seizure, to a morass of monolithic, dreary crushing doom over which a searing, depressive melody ranges, like watching cattle graze on some fiery plain of Hell. They even bust out a monstrous, roiling thrash passage near the close of the tune (and another in "Terror of the Cosmos"). Guitars have a tone the consistency leprous, festering flesh, while the bass lines are so corrosive that they could probably cleanse the nastier tile grout on your bathroom floor. Drums manifest a steady, crashing diatribe that functions beautifully alongside the genuine rawness of the riff progressions, and the vocals here are like a mixture of Martin van Drunen's coarse, grotesque guttural sustain with fits of unintelligible raving that reminded me of early filth-grind like Napalm Death's Scum, or some of the most suicidal post-Burzum black metal you can imagine. In fact, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility to imagine the creators of this limiting their influences to that record, as well as the early works of Autopsy, Nihilist, Repulsion, Slayer, Possessed, Asphyx and Carcass. Nothing here sounds as if it was conceived past maybe 1991-2, with the exception of the vast, tumultous vocal mix with loads of reverb echoing out over the primal foundation.

Granted, there are only two tracks here, being a 7", and a few folks might already have them from the extremely limited demo they handed out last year, but not a second goes past on this EP in which I don't feel genuinely terrified, or at least as shaken as this style is going to get me being that I'm no longer 12. I can't also claim that the individual components of the sound are also that original or perfect, whether being the choices in production or the riffing choices. Yet the way it all comes together like the mismatched limbs of a composite corpse in some Frankenstein lab definitely feels fresh and revitalized despite its hideous throwback stench. Few such younger bands are capable of such ugly songwriting that manages to retain itself in the listener's memory, even without the presence of novel melodies or terribly impressive riffs, but ZOM is so meticulously balanced on the precipice of revulsion and control that I just can't get enough of these songs. A win for Iron Bonehead Productions and for anyone who enjoys a whiff of a freshly opened tomb or unearthed grave. Death and puke forever.