Released: 2015, Via Nocturna
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Should deviation from the norm be present in trve kvlt black metal? For black metal to be, should it remain solely a sum of dissonant tremolo riffs, blasting drums, shrieking odes to the occult and produced as if it were recorded through a 1980s Fisher Price microphone found in a landfill? Or is there room for more?
The reason for these questions lies in a throwaway comment found on social media when researching the band's history, wherein the user declared their disdain for ZØRORMR's use of heavy metal riffing in a black metal record (though using more, ahem, colourful terms). It's a slightly confusing sentiment, especially given that the genre itself was founded within heavy metal and took the dark, brooding, malevolent atmospheres created by BLACK SABBATH, sacrificed it to the occult and spawned a completely new beast. But does that mean “Corpus Hermeticum” should stick to the same formula created by those earlier incarnations? Hell no.
ZØRORMR's third release is a far more interesting listen than your average run-of-the-mill black metal record because it dares to deviate from that run-of-the-mill template – tracks like “Nyarlathotep”, “The Seveneth Sermon To The Dead” and “Worship Me...” are built upon the frostbitten atmosphere from black metal that we all know and love, but weave and meander from savage blasts, to chunky riffs whilst stitching in gorgeous IRON MAIDEN and JUDAS PRIEST-esque leads (even with harmonies). Sure, there are “classic” moments of blackened brutality, but the variation that comes from a grooving heavy metal-style riff, or a brooding doom passage or the delicious leads (the finale to “This I Command!” especially) makes it more of a memorable listen.
Moloch, the main man behind ZØRORMR, knows how to create well-crafted black metal without it becoming dull. It defies logic to want to listen to the exact same thing over and over – if you're partial to a certain food, would you want to eat it every night, every month and every year? You'd add different flavours and ingredients at the very least to keep it exciting and interesting. This is what Moloch does with “Corpus Hermeticum” - it's fundamentally black metal, but the ingredients are varied to make it and it's more rewarding and palatable for it.
Heavy metal riffing in black metal? Yes please.
Review by: Lee Carter