It’s about time we got a full length album from Irish black, doom, crust scumbags Zom. For those that have caught them live they really do deliver the goods and leave their mark on you and having seen them twice I was eagerly looking forward to some recorded material to follow up their well-received demo and single which were released over the last couple of years.
It sounds like a crowd baying for blood over the opening part before Zom hurl themselves headlong into ‘Tombs Of The Void.’ It’s bestial, blackened with the cavernous vocals full of echoing reverb. Their uncompromising stance is at the very nadir of underground extremity as they blast out salvos of thick drumming and coruscating scything riffs combining to make a slew of genres that are black, death and crust laden d-beat etched punk. It’s full on and rages away for a short obliterating time before dissolving into a cosmic void from which ghostly sounds flow and they hone in for the next attack. This changes things a bit into a doomy morass that’s downbeat and filthy. ‘Hordes From The Cursed Realm’ limbers up and then spits and spews discourse from the speakers. Vocals are unintelligible gibbering away and the noisy racket is as mysterious and obtuse as anything summoned by the likes of Cruciamentum, Grave Miasma, Malthusian and others practicing dark olden arts of this deathly nature. The track rumbles straight into the slowest crawl of ‘Gates To Beyond’ and again takes you into the abyss oozing out sluggish riffs before going into a punch heavy rampaging stumble. It sounds like a complete shambles in some ways, primitive and out of control which along with the thick, bass heavy production will certainly put many off but under the grime and shit there is a band who can obviously play and are doing so and creating an unprincipled plague like mass far from caring whether anyone likes it or not.
Songs are kept to a minimum pretty much running into each other and moving fluidly from one segment to another over the just over half hour running time. The longest ‘Conquest’ has that war like charge one would associate with the likes of Blasphemy, Black Witchery and their like before elongating notes and wringing out their instruments to hideous lengths and tones. ‘Illbeings Unspeak’ has a much more punk edged pogo vomiting vibe about it and they are definitely mixing up styles here as it steams into fast and aggressive fist pummelling speeds that completely rattle off in an out of control fashion. Segments such as on ‘Dead Worlds’ get into a thick chugging groove allowing some good head banging action and as guitars scream away you can feel the devastation this lot are more than capable of summoning up in a rowdy pit. Sometimes it even feels like there is a linear song waiting to burst out as they jam away on the beginning of ‘The Depths’ naturally they throw it to the wolves in a black miasma and that idea quickly descends into a volatile mass. By the time we arrive at the last and title track it certainly feels as though you have been dragged through a very thorny hedge backwards and any longer the album would have probably been too much to cope with.
Zom have certainly backed up the feeling they fling off the stage with this debut and anyone really into sounds of the most extreme kind should certainly check this out. As for live if you fancy totally ruining yourself on New Years Heave they play an up close an intimate show in London at The Black Heart with Dead Congregation and Irkallian Oracle. If you are false do not entry!
(7.5/10 Pete Woods)