Written by: Vattghern
Time is money. More notably, time is limited. In this modern day and age, for the majority, everything needs to happen fast. I need my news fast, I don't have time to cook, and I especially don't spend time on anything I don't really need to. It's sad, really, but why this pretentiously philosophical monologue to start the review of Zohamah's Spread My Ashes?
Because Zohamah approached their record in similar fashion--which in this case, works in favour of the music. The record is roughly half an hour long and given the type of music that is presented, a more stretched out approach would undoubtedly have taken away much of its charm.
Kicking off things with thunder and stormy rain is new World, and it captures the soundscape of what is to come accordingly. A bit of dissonant black metal, a bit of doomy atmosphere, and some death metal chugging. Genre traits are not bound to exact attributes though, since variety is subtle but noticeable. While Black Cloud is very fast paced, with hints of death metal, the intense vocal performance and tremolo picked melodies across the album scream "black metal."
Given the underlying diversity of influences and styles, some transitions don't work out as they should. At points an abrupt change or not-so-smooth transition occurs, but luckily for the listener, this is more of a rare occurrence.
With a production that gives spotlight to every instrument and a blend of genres that provides the listener with something fresh yet oddly familiar, Spread my Ashes succeeds in most parts. Especially the decision to cut corners where needed, which ultimately forms this into a short but sweet record.
Zohamah -Spread My Ashes will be released Feb. 1st from Redefining Darkness Records
Here at the Sleeping Village’s dilapidated mead hall, our blood-stained butcher/chef/warden of the promo pit will, on occasion, serve something a little out of the ordinary. Artistic license is generally a good thing...but when finding crunchy bits in the soup d’jour becomes an everyday occurrence, it’s probably might be time to tighten those creative reins. Let’s face it: sometimes we nascent tastemakers are looking for meat ‘n’ potatoes, plain and simple. To this end, Wisconsin’s own Necrokvlt are on the menu.
Delivering an unpretentious slab of black metal colored by the outward aggression of proto-death, there isn’t much on their latest 2-track that feels overly sophisticated. In moving beyond the enthusiastic Venom worship we witnessed in their prior works, Necrokvlt are effectively bridging the 1st and 2nd waves of black metal--and, in doing so, they play to their strengths very, very well. Opening track 7th Sound of Chaos is filled with riffage aplenty, complemented by a solid bass tone and pleasantly present cymbals. The true star here, however, is Golgotha on vox. The era of demo cassette black metal is punctuated, in my mind, by jubilantly throat-wrenching vocals. This guy delivers the goods. Pained, strained, yet simultaneously gleeful--this is the energy Golgotha brings to the table.
His obvious talent feels somewhat squandered, however, as the title (and final) track, A Spirit’s Suicide, is purely instrumental. From the instrumental perspective, this track is a headbanger regardless; the hookiest of surf rock progression with the moodiness of makes for a catchy track indeed. That said, it doesn’t hold enough weight to quite merit the exclusion of vocals. An odd choice, but the overall strength of this release dictates a significant number of replays in those short pockets of time that need filling. Necrokvlt are clearly proficient in their no-nonsense brand, and I’m excited to see where their next release projects them.
A certain groggy-eyed, highfalutin' peasantry