Zom’s Multiversal Holocaust EP last year was great, bringing to mind the devastating black/death metal of Mayhem’s Deathcrush, but with a static, digital sounding production that made it sound like sublime lo-fi chaos. So the new album Flesh Assimilation is one I anticipated highly, and the end result, if a little less chaotic than the EP, is a solid début album from a good band.
ZOM channel the filthy sound of early Mayhem and Darkthrone, with a more chaotic, insane sound, straddling the line between death and black metal, with a dose of grind thrown in for good measure. The speedy tremolo riffs and dirty fuzz of the bass on the brutishly old school Tomb of the Void are pure Deathcrush worship, while the death doom riffs and brutish drumming of Conquest take you back to the sound of Darkthrone’s Soulside Journey. The closing title track is pure filthy blackened grindcore, and those riffs are both delightfully groovy and brutal, and throughout the album the fusion of grind, black and death metal, with a more modern sounding production is pretty intense. With a gruff death metal bark somewhat akin to Dismember’s Matti Kärki the vocals are aggressive and raw, suiting the brutish music. The drums are great throughout the album, particularly that killer double bass sound, providing pure death metal barrages.
The production job is chaotic, throwing everything together in a thick wall of sound, and it sounds good. However the slight cleaning up of the sound, and the use of a more generic death/black metal production rather than the intense trebly assault of Multiversal holocaust is undeniably a let down. It sounds a bit more like a chaotic throwback to the early days of black/death metal – a damned good one however. The digital noise between each track sounds great and gives it an unsettling atmosphere, but it works a little less on here than it would’ve on the aforementioned EP.
Overall it’s not quite as original as one would like, but it’s still a decent slab of extreme metal, which at points is intense, and if the combination of very early Darkthrone and Mayhem, with a tinge of Codex Necro-era blackened grindcore sounds like your thing (and why wouldn’t it?) then you’re still in for a treat.