Zaum’s second album, Eidolon, asks many questions of its listener. First and foremost, simply how to categorise it (if you must do such things) is something to ponder on for days! Is this drone? Doom? Psychedelic? Ancient history lesson? It’s all of these things and so much more, a kaleidoscope of shamanic choirs, mountainous roars, sitar-driven doom progressions and sparse yet effective percussion that drive home this slow and studied passage through time.
From Babylonian empires to Mesoamerican history, Zaum journey with a contradictory agenda; one that’s subdued yet relentless, enticing yet virtually impossible to elucidate. It all culminates in an ethereal experience which conjures wild imagery of ancient civilisations, rituals and ceremony backed by world music and traditional instrumentation, drone-doom and the kind of world-building previously mastered by the likes of Om. Incidentally, with this release, Zaum can consider themselves in the same league as Al Cisneros’ pioneering outfit whilst single-mindedly furrowing their own distinct timeline.
Introducing modern techniques to ancient mystical symbolism and ideals, Eidolon is an enchanting affair and one that rises through you as each glacial movement crescendos and bleeds into each transgressive chapter. Overall, Eidolon is one of those albums you ‘experience’ but not always necessarily enjoy; it’s a challenge, one fraught with danger, intrigue, frustration and passion but not to acknowledge its complexities and achievements would be a crime. Just don’t go expecting traditional head-banging riffs….Zaum operate in an entirely different world to the majority of their ‘metal’ brethren. 7/10