ZÖN – Altar Of ZÖN

There’s not a lot of information to be found about ZÖN online – a one man project from California with (at the time of writing) just thirteen likes on facebook is about the extent of it. But with a melding of genres from metal, drone, ambient, noise, and industrial it’s perhaps easy to see why they’re not quite setting the world on fire – this is abstract unsettling music that’s not for everyone. But the chosen few who do  worship at the Altar Of ZÖN are sure to be converted by this near ninety minute epic.

Altar Of ZÖN is ugly, it’s brash and it’s bleak, with a thin and messy production that helps to create a nightmarish atmosphere – but it’s more than a monolithic wall of sound, it’s a subtler, more paranoid trip. The psychedelic wash of percussive industrial pounding away against a freeform torrent of noisy droning textures and smothered tortured vocals on Dybbuk Communion evokes  Sunn O))) on hallucinogenics in a trip that went badly wrong. DSBM and krautrock converge to spawn a downer monster on the quietly deranged Acharonim while distorted drones and eerie electronic textures float in an abstract vortex on Prince of the Cherubim. Lithomancy is almost accessible, with the first hints of discernible melody on the album, as echoing chords rise out of a textured gloom which soon dissolves into abstract chaos. Each track is dark and claustrophobic in it’s own way, and the album stays fresh and unnerving throughout it’s long length.

ZÖN don’t go for the throat with a huge wall of noise, it’s much more of a subtle album. Instead they unsettle you with psychedelia, abstract freeform musicianship and strange layered textures. It’s not for the faint-hearted but fans of dark ambient and drone will appreciate this excellent release.

Stream and download at bandcamp below:

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