Zorormr - The Aftermath 01Poland’s been the source of some great metal over the years. Behemoth probably comes to mind first, being that Nergal’s the master of controversy and the court room. But putting that aside, there’s Vader, Decapitated, Hate and Lux Occulta, who along with many others have been delivering the goods and then some. Somewhere in the throng, the talents of one-man, black metal or dark ambient artist, Fabian Filiks (Moloch) of Zørormr became a little obscured. Three-albums into Moloch’s career, Zørormr have proved they’re worthy of our attention with The Aftermath, a 6-track EP set for a limited release of 510 copies. How does this little offering fit in with Zørormr‘s earlier endeavors, you might ask? Consistently. Not only does this brief taste of The Aftermath contain the same eclecticism and crossing of genres used in Corpus Hermetcum and IHS, but there’s a definite continuation of melodies and ideas from Zørormr‘s very first release Kval. If you enjoy what’s coming up next you’ll surely want to work your way backwards.

The Aftermath gets off to a solid start with “The Last Judgement.” Thunderous, solitary drum-work preempts climactic conditions, setting an agonized backdrop for the Behemoth-like guitar interpretation. There’s familiarity to the arrangement, but it’s not a direct appropriation. Moloch’s evil whispers cut through with malice, Satan and Lucifer’s names stand out to the ear, and at times Moloch’s murmur reminds me of 1349‘s Ravn clouded by Gehenna‘s Sanrabb. Moloch’s drumming comes across as engaging, somewhat creative and solemn, his rhythm guitar contributes a more ritualistic element and a high-reaching solo with clear Van Halen influence seals the deal. “The Last Judgement” is a solid track and it’s memorable – win!

Moloch doesn’t drop the ball for a moment across “The Crawling Chaos,” “The Adversary” or the title track. “The Crawling Chaos” starts strong in a Metallica black album fashion before falling back onto oddball keyboards that could have been liberated from Vesania‘s Distractive Killusions, finishing up with another big solo that’s comparable to “The Last Judgement.” “The Adversary” continues on in the same fashion, stratified mutters vying for your attention, raw and roughened drum-lines reverberating, and then there’s the trilling, melodic doom-death guitar melodies that ring out with the style and clarity of Insomnium or While Heaven Wept. The Aftermath is successfully brought to a close with the title track – an instrumental that on the first note makes me think Guns ‘n Roses, but on the second note feels instantly darker, exacerbated by this trickster again following in the footsteps of fellow countrymen Vesania.

Zorormr - The Aftermath 02

At least that’s how The Aftermath should have ended, and that’s how I plan to return to it. Instead, Moloch saw fit to add two additional tracks recorded back in 2010 and 2011. “Arise, Cthulhu, Arise!” and “Zorormr” contribute nothing and stand so far apart from the earlier part of the EP that they’re jarring in an unnecessary and unpleasant fashion. If you’re willing to adjust your headphones and settle in, be prepared for “Arise, Cthulhu, Arise!,” a weird attempt at creating a sloppy Impetigo/Vesania montage, chanting for the return of Cthulhu using old-timey 80’s era production values. And “Zorormr” – what can I say here… a throwaway track that plays out like a cheesy, old-school movie soundtrack where the protagonist is being chased – it’s repetitive and the production just sounds dated.

As I understand it, The Aftermath signals the close of the first era of Zørormr‘s project history. Thus the EP consists of four tracks from the band’s Corpus Hermetcum era and one track each from IHS and Kval. I suppose that this would be a great addition for anyone already a fan of Zørormr. However, to somebody only discovering the band through this release, it’s a disjointed affair. Barring the last two tracks, Zørormr put together an EP that’s memorable, represents their sound well, has some quirky variety, and successfully prompted me towards the band’s discography. Job well done. If this review spikes your interest, check out The Aftermath, and perhaps even get Timur Khabirov‘s cover artwork as a tattoo – it’s pretty bad-ass as far as skulls go!

Rating: 3.0/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Via Nocturna
Websites: zorormr.net/ | facebook.com/zorormr/
Releases Worldwide: June 10th, 2016

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  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    That is an album artwork I can stand behind. Didn’t like the track you’ve posted above when it came out though to be honest.

    Must have something to do with the band’s name having a ‘Z’, an umlaut, and ending with three consonants. Great review!

    • I don’t see an umlaut.

      • AlphaBetaFoxface

        I have just learned that the dash through “ø” does not constitute as an umlaut.

        • And to think my parents didn’t believe that metal’s educational. I’m sure there’s a name for that letter, but damned if I know what it is.

          • Apparently it’s a vowel and a letter used in Danish, Norwegian, Faroese and Southern Sami. “The symbol may be called a slashed o”… Pretty badass.

          • AlphaBetaFoxface

            I love how Wikipedia (I research hard) puts it:

            The name of this letter is the same as the sound it represents. Though not its native name, among English-speaking typographers the symbol may be called a “slashed o” or “o with stroke”.

            It’s “O with that diagonal dash thingo going through the middle of it” to me.

          • I had a good giggle over that too. I approve this name.

          • [not a Dr]

            To me, it’s a døn’t.
            You combine it with things you don”t want people to do.
            For instance, it’s used in conjunction with a P to forbid parking.

          • Surely you mean førbid parking :P

          • Ø = Ö. Pronounced as U in murder or I in bird. Being a vowel, it only bears the name of its single sound.

    • Thanks!

  • Grymm

    That promo pic…

    “SUN!!! *HISSES*”

    • This is a new low for promo pics.

      • It’s vague.

        For some reason it makes me think of Ozzi.

        • Monsterth Goatom

          Ha! I was thinking the same thing. That, and “RAAAID!!!”

        • Me too. Might have something subconsciously to do with the scene in the middle of the Bark at the Moon video.

          • De2013


        • Adjudant

          Meat Loaf

    • Just off camera is a radiant, glowing unicorn. Perhaps someone more ambitious than I can put that together for us.

      • Let your ambitions run free… Like a unihorn!

      • Bart the Repairman

        I like your idea.

        • Wow! It’s like a goaticorn!

        • That’s wonderful!!!!

        • Perfect! I knew someone would come through.

        • Grymm

          This wins so damn hard.

        • themetalbeernerd

          This is actually my favorite comments section on the interwebs.

        • De2013

          Should be background image for this month.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      That picture made me wonder if there’s a cover of “Dude looks like a lady” on the album reviewed. Judging from the picture, there should be.

  • Hahaha remember the 90s when bands would strap awful songs like that on EPs but they’d put like, I dunno 90 blank tracks between them and the rest of the EP? I’m thinking NIN’s Broken EP but there were others.

    Goodness bands are silly.

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Holy shit, that fucking sucked…

  • Alexandre Barata

    This is strange… Gotta take a couple more listenings to have a definitive conclusion about it.
    Anyway, nowadays if you’re talking about Poland’s black metal, never forget to list Batushka!!

  • Bart the Repairman

    Now that’s a great marketing idea: to name a band by using meaningless word, that NO ONE can speak out loud without getting a jaw injury.

    • Moloch

      It’s not meaningless. It’s a combination of two Old Norse words “sor” (with crossed out o) meaning South and “ormr” meaning serpent. So the name means “Serpent of the South” and is the opposite of my favorite dark ambient artist Henrik Bjork, whose pseudonym was “Nordvargr”. Don’t need to translate that one, I guess ;)

      • Bart the Repairman

        Ashamed ignorant thank you for the lesson.

      • I’m not entirely new to Zørormr, but I’ve actually never thought of that before. We have the letter z in the Norwegian alphabet, but we never use it (save from in a dish soap brand name).

        • Moloch

          I know that. I used Z because Z is less popular than S with band names. And it made the whole name more “Lovecraftian” in a way. Anyway, that was the intention :)

      • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

        Could this be “South of the Serpent” referring to a Serpent’s ass?

        • Moloch

          Serpent of the South or Southern Serpent. Your trolling is weak.

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            Strong enough to get a reply, I guess…
            I didn’t mean to troll you, I didn’t realize you were in the band…

          • Moloch

            Now you know and knowing is half the battle :) Cheers!

          • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

            The other half is leaving… never meant to battle you! Cheers

          • Diego Molero

            He IS the band.

  • The promo pic is how I picture AMG looks whenever Steel Druhm submits another Jorn review.