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Zaum: Divination

Unlike bands that kick things off with their heaviest, most memorable, riffs, Zaum starts with a chime. The chime requests your attention rather than demands it. As things build, the band weaves together a variety of sounds before finally unleashing a heavy blend of vocals, bass, and percussion. For some, the power of those instruments will be most welcome. Zaum is a heavy band and there’s plenty of heaviness to go around here. For others, however, Zaum’s appeal will come from their willingness to experiment with texture, ambience, and space.

If you listen to a wide range of extreme music, there’s a good chance you’ve heard bands that blend ambience with doom in the past. But Zaum stands out from the rest because of the sheer variety of their musical soundscape. Unlike some bands that rely too much on synths, Zaum draws on the recorded sounds of the jaw harp, digideroo, singing saw, brass bells, brass bowl, finger cymbals, dilruba, and others. For its live performances, the band has also recruited the dancer Nawal Doucette to perform alongside them. Connecting music and dance is a great idea and it would be awesome to experience. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to capture that blend of sight and sound on an album.

Overall, I thought this was a strong album. Zaum’s interest in creating what they call “mantra doom” is a cool idea and they frequently succeed in blending their eclectic ambience with heaviness. If I have one complaint about the album, it’s that the heaviness occasionally outweighs everything else. A band like Zaum can afford to explore the silences a little more. If you’re curious, I’d suggest checking out “Relic” or “Procession.” They’re both long tracks that showcase this band’s overall style. As much as I liked the first track’s calm opening, “Procession” has a very slow, patient, middle section that blends the ambient and the doom even more effectively. I’m hoping one day to catch these guys on the road to catch the full experience.

Track Listing:
1. Relic
2. Pantheon
3. Procession

Added: July 13th 2019
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 788
Language: english

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