Zom - Flesh Assimilation (2014)
Invictus Productions (Europe)/Dark Descent Records (US)
Review by Trevor Proctor
Since the 2011 release of their demo cassette via Invictus Productions Zom have been creating rumbles in the catacombs of Ireland’s death metal underground. The demand for this demo was so great it was re-issued on vinyl during 2013 with a bonus track, Ethereal Frost. A second demo was released in 2012 and featured three tracks; one of which was Ethereal Frost and the other two were Multiversal Holocaust and Terror of the Cosmos – in turn these two tracks got re-released on a limited 7” vinyl, again due to immense demand for their music.
Two of the band’s members were originally in a punk/metal band called Crowd Control which disbanded after the release of their self-titled debut album; leading to the creation of Zom. This helps explain Zom’s unique style of music which is a horror influenced mix of blackened death metal with punk and thrash elements thrown in for good measure. These elements and styles create a very upfront, savage, uncomplicated style of music. In a recent interview with Zero Tolerance magazine Zom drummer Sabbac summed their music up perfectly by stating “I’ll always prefer the hammer-to-the-head approach! Gimme a riff, a beat, and we’re on – anything more is superfluous.”
Zom’s monstrous debut album “Flesh Assimiliation” has just been released via Dark Descent Records in the US and Invictus Productions in Europe. The album was written over a period of five months during 2012-2013 and was recorded at the end of 2013 in Wicklow, Ireland. The excellent artwork is the creation of Zbyszek Bielak. Zom’s no nonsense approach to music is apparent on this album with a focus on savagery that surpasses many other releases. There’s a real mix of influences during Flesh Assimiliation that add to its unpredictable nature and creates a diversity that enhances the listening experience.
At times the music’s quite thrashy, at others you can hear elements of Swedish death metal, at others you can hear feint traces of Morbid Angel whilst at others yet again the punk elements are more prevalent – yes, this is a very varied melting pot featuring many genres and styles but it’s within this variety where the beauty of this gem of an album lies.
Following a brief intro of ghoulish effects and tortured screams it’s straight down to business as Zom power their way through opener, Tombs of the Void. If there is such a thing this is typical Zom territory, fast, blackened death metal that’s laced with reverbed vocals and frenetic guitar throughout. There is also a brief outro linking each track during the album to give the music a degree of continuity. Tracks like Gates to Beyond and Hordes of the Cursed Realms are slightly slower but with a groove and swagger to them that shows Zom’s confidence and willingness to mix things up.
Other tracks such as Dead Worlds and Conquest showcase that thrashier side I previously mentioned; they feature quality, catchy riffs that any thrash band, past or present, would be proud to have written. Some may dislike the savage and almost chaotic nature of Zoms music but I feel it’s a strength of the band and plays a major factor in their individuality - blackened death metal lives at the core but it’s the variety of influences between and during tracks that makes this an exceptional listen - if you want routine or patterns seek them elsewhere.
With an album as good as this being released and a well-deserved tour supporting the mighty Dead Congregation you’ll be hearing a lot more from this band in the future - an outstanding debut album.
1 - Tombs of the Void
2 - Hordes from the Cursed Realms
3 - Gates to Beyond
4 - Conquest
5 - Illbeings Unspeak
6 - Dead Worlds
7 - The Depths8 - Flesh Assimilation
Zom's Flesh Assimilation is available now from Invictus Productions (Europe) and Dark Descent Records (US).