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Black Metal

… ZOM Review

Irish scourge ZOM present us two cosmological atrocities on a wicked 7” EP that lights the altar of Blasphemy, Morbid Angel, and Slayer aflame in it’s worship. While these tracks did appear on their 2012 “Hells Pleasure” demo I unfortunately did not get a hold of that so these are new to me, and also rip really hard.

ZOM’s assault is not new however. Their self-titled demo was certainly promising, making heads turn despite the perceived ordinariness outside of the locale they hail from, largely because the worship they display is flat out enjoyable with subtle additions that the newer revivals are bringing with them that seem to have naturally leeched into their classic sound. Just enough to refresh things at least because they were getting a lot of attention, and I still managed to miss their second demo last year containing these two tracks.

Though, as it was a demo, I assume they were rougher which is either a plus or a minus depending on your attitude. There are two tracks, virtually the same length but with different approaches to their thrash formula, the first “Multiversal Holocaust” dips into the slower realms near the end while “Terror of the Cosmos” really is a relentless and blistering offensive.

ZOM Cover

As one might expect we’re greeted by satanic samples recalling Archgoat’s affinity for the perverse and evil, and then rocketing into a mid-paced blackened riff directly afterwards over d-beats and eventually into a more thrashy tremolos. All the while the the vocals harken back to the stuttered and chambered echos of the old-school — later peppered with “OOF!”’s and deep snarls — and a truly cavernous and machine-gun speed percussive blast behind it all.

This is only halted later for a chunky breakdown of the previous tremolo’s, and further slowed to a wicked and evil groove; plenty of hammer-ons and ugliness abound. This is a great moment in the track. It’s further manipulated by wah, and transformed into a bouncy gallop later before again turning toward crustiness. It’s brief because a cult-ish sample cuts into it as a closer, distorting and becoming more layered as it drones. The blends of aggression and the addition of a tasty change of gears midway through is great.

I probably won’t be alone in saying there are various moments that have one recalling the early legends of thrash: moments of Slayers first record alongside Possessed are clearly being channeled through ZOM but with a tight, blurry coating of sinister black metal (possibly a sliver of d-beat) — and a huge rolling snare presence throughout upping the distress in the fast sections.

And it is especially true in the second track “Terror of the Cosmos” (ends with a ritual necromancy guitar). Following a creepy sample that gets overtaken by feedback and lone tom strikes, the buzz starts up just shredding lonely until a jerky rhythm is formed and the pace picks up. From here if the nostalgia isn’t flowing then I don’t know what to say. ZOM stir up a storm of cosmic blaspheme with only a few very clouded riffs, blazing in their speed, and then just around four minutes in the tone and pace switches. The rhythm is still excellent just more bouncy, and sd you’ll here again they tumble into some very Show No Mercy territory in the final minutes; ending Ritual Necromancy style.

Their newest EP is definitely continuing the tradition of revival found in their original demo, the promise being exhumed, and overall it doesn’t feel tired as you might cautiously expect. The influence is undeniable but the writing and skill level play nicely with them and allow something more invigorating to the style to seep in, intentional or not.

ZOM have not vanished since their debut in 2011, in fact Multiversal Holocaust makes it clear that their path is one that may be more interesting to continue to follow especially for the purists and thrash enthusiasts. These reworked songs are further proof of this small horde’s creative ability.

I suggest if you enjoyed their work thus far and you can afford it in this climate then go and grab a copy of this from Invictus Productions or Iron Boneheard Productions before they’re gone.

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