Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Black Metal History Month - Zohamah : "Spread My Ashes"

We..and by we I realized I am included in the music media who is quick to throw around sub-genre labels. Why call a band blackened anything, when sometimes they might just enjoy playing black metal slowly, which seems to be the case here rather than this being a doom band getting more evil. The scathing vocals are the most black metal element, aside from the oppressive mood. The guitars are big and powerful which can make them feel more like death metal. They go into a more depressive sound on "Emptiness" . This brings us to one of my favorite sonic corners the place where depressive black metal and doom intersect. Granted it's much more black metal than doom, as it might be down trodden but it's more tormented and anguished as it bites back out of anger. Doom wallows and mourns.

This album offers the argument that their is some strong black  metal coming out of America now as this project hails from Cleveland. A corner of blue collar America low on the church burning.  Though it opens with more of a brooding dissonance "Black Cloud "gets more aggressive and at 3 minutes kinda blows past like a locomotive once it builds momentum. It's almost more death metal. The vocals even drop down in a lower growl.The song writing is kept compact and stays focused never getting lost in a self indulgent drone. They drop back down into the more haunting grimness that was offered before with "Broken Mirror". It works though doesn't command my attention as much as the previous songs . This is typical for extreme metal, as the novelty of the sheer heaviness eventually wears off and the song writing goes under a more precise microscope.

There is a powerful throb to the closing song. It's layered with additional guitar melodies. It builds it's rumble into something almost more death metal in the brawn of it's angry beating. I'll give this album a 9 as it transcends most of the stagnant pit falls of music that is this heavy and remembers that song writing matters. This was released on Redefining Darkness Records.

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