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Zaum - Materialismus CD (album) cover




Rock Progressivo Italiano

3.34 | 6 ratings

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4 stars Area reincarnated? Not quite, but fantastic!

Zaum is without question one of the wildest and most exciting bands I've heard in a while and fit wonderfully into my weird taste profile. As we were doing the difficult evaluation of this band, which crosses several sound styles, two of the team members piped up simultaneously that the band was a bit like an "Area" in a different era. At times this is how they rubbed me, all the banshee abandon spirit of Area, with their own respectable chops but with slightly different influences. Whereas Area were from the heart of the classic RPI time period and pursued jazz and avant avenues (amongst others), Zaum seemingly adds inspiration from 1990s alternative rock to the party. You can almost hear the eclectic guitar/vocal edge of System Of A Down and the nasty grit-funk of Red Hot Chili Peppers thrown in for good measure. Invigorating as hell, energetic, eclectic, and exciting. This is an album for fans of the wilder RPI....for fans of groups like Osanna, Balletto di Bronzo, and yes, even Area.

Zaum's origins date to the 1970s but they did not record "Materialismus" until 1998. The recording remained unreleased until the wonderful PsychUp Melodies (a newer label run by Fabrizio Di Vicino and specializing in unique, challenging music) made it available to the world. "Ma Pure" begins immediately running 110 mph with a thick groove and a saucy call/response vocal--sounds like it could have been on RHCP's "One Hot Minute." Bongo drums and a manic flute cover the heavy guitar and bass. "Ombra Roce" just floored me the first time I heard it! I swear the opening wails are an homage to Balletto di Bronzo, the vocal sounding just like Gianni Leone doing some "YS" outtake. A darkness pervades the track, with tablas and a lone bass guitar dancing behind these eerie vocals. The title track is so damn heavy with the guitar running counter of these keyboard scales, then backing off into a soft jazzy groove with lilting vocals and sound effects. There are soft moments to contrast the heaviness but it's hard to capture the prevailing mood other than pointing out the obvious aggression and love of chaos. "Mo L'omme" gives us a folksy acoustic guitar to contrast pure heavy sludge. The live closer "Viecchie" is a Napoli Centrale cover, a glimpse of pure freak-out with blaring saxophone, dissonant keys, punkish vocals, and driving rhythm. The entire experience leaves one pretty breathless, this is a band who wants to steamroll you. They sure as hell pushed me down the stairs.

Highly recommended to fans of the sauciest RPI, along with those who love eclectic, rowdy, grungy-funky jamming. For now the album is only available via download from Psych-Up Melodies website, but a CD release is planned.

Finnforest | 4/5 |


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