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Zonderhoof : Zonderhoof

This has to be one of the strangest album covers I've ever encountered, and one of the creepiest... The colors are bright, the background is sharp yellow, and the obviously abused garden gnome with the eerie eyes looks like he's about to have a nervous breakdown. Even so, the really creepy part is the lack of any other emotions or hints as to which personality it has. It feels like one has no control, what so ever, of what goes on inside that gnomes head. Maybe Zonderhoof knows?

If the cover didn't already divulge the secret, then the tracklist will present it to you loud and clear: These guys have a great diversity among their influences, and nearly all of them make these Welsh guys stand out from the rest of the drone universe. Soundwise you might recognize Pelican, Mothertrucker, Mills Of God and Neurosis as having strong similarities to these guys. As such the sound is the least unique about them, but even so the flawless mixture of happy grooving and loud aggression does give it a certain taint of it's own. Honestly though, have you ever heard of any band drawing on influences from the 1984 arcade game called Zub? No? Even heard of it? Well these guys certainly have, and while the fourth track doesn't sound much like a Commadore 64 game (or synth or midi in any way), I can still hear the connection to the Zub theme music.

I have a hard time deciding whether this is doom metal or not. Sure, there are sections which clearly are, but then again there are whole tracks which aren't (for example, 'All Your Witches And Bitches' is a "post-metal" track despite it's über-bassy intro). I'm guessing this is music for those who enjoy drone with a strong headbanging factor or who don't mind the music being mostly mid-paced. If you do decide to buy this CD then you'll be rewarded with lots of heavy riffage and a massive wall of sound. Don't let the gnome scare you away from it! As a matter of fact, you really got to see this critter with your own two eyes... The gnome told me so...

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Bilge Rat
2. Varkens *
3. All Your Witches And Bitches
4. Zub

2. Pigs

Duration : Approx. 30 minutes.

Visit the Zonderhoof bandpage.

Reviewed on 06-02-2010 by Arnstein Petersen
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