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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%