Album Review – ZØRORMR / The Monolith (2023)

The unstoppable Polish vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Moloch returns with an incendiary new album, offering us all 46 minutes of raw intensity, embodying nihilism, misanthropy and disdain for an indifferent world.

Prepare to be embraced by absolute darkness, as Opole, Poland’s own Black Metal/Dark Ambient institution ZØRORMR is back from the underworld with its latest offering, entitled The Monolith, following up on its highly acclaimed 2016 EP The Aftermath. Recorded at Red Dragon Studio, Dobra 12 Studio and Via Nocturna Studio, produced by Arkadiusz “Aro” Jabłoński at Monroe Sound Studio, and displaying a wicked cover art by Paweł Kuranda, The Monolith spans over 46 minutes of raw intensity, embodying nihilism, misanthropy and disdain for an indifferent world, all masterfully brought into being by vocalist and multi-insturmentalist Moloch (with the support of guests Quazarre on lead guitars and Icanraz on drums), making it the most personal and formidable ZØRORMR release to date.

Kicking things off in style, the title-track The Monolith is eerie and sinister from the very first second, growing in intensity and obscurity to the Doom Metal beats by Icanraz while Moloch extracts sheer evil form his guitar and bass, exploding into a massive, visceral Black Metal feast with Moloch gnarling majestically. Downward Spiral is another devilish, multi-layered Black Metal aria crafted by Moloch showcasing beautiful guitar solos by Quazarre while Moloch makes sure the atmosphere remains as Stygian as it can be; whereas the sharp, piercing guitars by Moloch supported by the fulminating blast beats by Icanraz will darken the skies in Hollow, the perfect depiction of how brutal yet melodic and mesmerizing the music by ZØRORMR can be, followed by I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, showcasing a very peculiar name to a breathtaking, demonic creation by Moloch that lives up to the legacy of Melodic Black Metal, feeling simply infernal from start to finish with Moloch’s growls sounding truly haunting.

The second half of the album begins with the sulfurous The Pentagram, with Moloch being on fire with his enraged vocals, flammable riffs and thunderous bass accompanied by the always vicious drums by Icanraz in a tribute to pure evil; and slowing thing down a bit and beginning in a serene manner we have Return to Nothingness, while of course always sounding macabre. It’s not a bad song, but far from being as strong as the rest of the album, though. Then back to his more demonic mode, Moloch will hammer our heads mercilessly in Per aspera, ad astra (“through difficulties, to the stars” from Latin), where his diabolical vocals sound awesome until the very end while he also fires ass-kicking riffs supported by more of Quazarre’s classy solos; and the album’s last onrush of obscurity, entitled Enter the Void, begins in a somber way to the dirty riffage by Moloch, alternating between doom-ish moments and absolute heaviness, therefore putting a vile and dark ending to an opus not recommended for the lighthearted.

The new installment in the career of Moloch and his ZØRORMR is available for a full listen on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course if you’re a true servant of the dark arts of heavy music you can purchase a copy of the album by clicking HERE (CD) or HERE (digital), and don’t forget to also start following ZØRORMR on Facebook and on Instagram. As aforementioned, The Monolith is Moloch’s most personal album since he started ZØRORMR over a decade ago, bringing forward his past and present sounds while always thinking forward, opening countless roads for him to keep growing as a musician while remaining loyal to the foundations of Black Metal with all of his upcoming releases.

Best moments of the album: The Monolith, I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream and Per aspera, ad astra.

Worst moments of the album: Return to Nothingness.

Released in 2023 Via Nocturna

Track listing
1. The Monolith 7:39
2. Downward Spiral 5:52
3. Hollow 6:26
4. I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream 5:03
5. The Pentagram 3:55
6. Return to Nothingness 6:29
7. Per aspera, ad astra 5:32
8. Enter the Void 5:24

Band members
Moloch – vocals, guitar, bass

Guest musicians
Quazarre – lead guitars
Icanraz – drums


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