Zom - Demo
Invictus Productions
Death/Thrash
6 songs (20:10)
Release year: 2013
Invictus Productions
Reviewed by Charles
Zom are a relatively new band from Dublin, who so far have only released a couple of demos and an EP. They are the kind of band that, when they get round to releasing a full-length, might end up causing a bit of buzz in the underground metal scene. Partly, that is because they have a tendency to encase their records in lovely red album art, which looks cool. And partly (arguably more importantly), it’s also because they have such a solid grasp over their heavyweight subject matter. This being primordial death-thrash drawing inspiration from 80s golden oldies, from Dark Angel to Destruction, Possessed and old Death. This particular release is a demo from 2011 that has just been reissued by Invictus. There was an EP last year, Multiversal Holocaust, which was similarly worth hearing.

So, five tracks (six including a bonus on this rerelease) of dense and violent riffing, delivered with fearsome expertise. They (often) play really fast, and pretty much each one of these tunes could fit easily as a pit-igniting set-closer. Perhaps especially the malevolent blackened thrash riffs of Cosmic Winds. The vocals are almost indistinguishable: way down in the mix, and really just a reverberating howl. I don’t know if this is intentional or a result of a budget recording, but I like it. It reminds me of Fell Voices, whom I also like a lot, and who also have near-inaudible vocals. In both cases it makes the band seem more inhuman, more bestial.

There is a weakness, or at least something I perceive as a weakness, which is that at this stage their songwriting is quite formulaic. Every track here (and I think the same might be said of Multiversal Holocaust) starts at furious pace, and then crashes later into a down-tempo breakdown. There is of course nothing wrong with this (sometimes it works extremely well- see The Horror from Beyond), but it happens a lot, and gets predictable. Plus, in this kind of music you’d expect at least a couple of tracks to rip it up from the first beat to the last. But, whatever, this is one of the best demo releases I’ve heard for a bit.

Killing Songs :
Cosmic Winds, The Horror From Beyond
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