Zorn - Zorn (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Zorn (2023)

Sorry State

Zorn find the comedy in the macabre and the macabre in comedy. The band’s long awaited LP, which follows a number of obscure tapes and 7-inchers, is the special kind of release that finds a band capitalizing on their earlier promises.

As the previous Eps suggested, the band takes a punk core and wraps it in black metal, thrash, and hardcore. They use that construct to rampage through a twisting and turning release. When a lot of bands merge the heavier elements, they usually get a cool sound- bust just that, one cool sound repeded ad infinitum. Zorn, however, are constantly sliding the scales of their influences- sometimes they charge forward at full sprint, sometimes they allow a Danzigish riff to slither around (a la the tasty twisting on “altar,” sometimes they go for a power metal grandiosity, and sometimes they- gasp= are kind of quiet! (only briefly though).

This crafted approach lets the band have a wide variety of chills and howls ripple through their release, which gives the band an identifiability, but also an incomparable uniqueness. “The Spell of the airy Tree,” wonderfully subverts the concept of fairies being “nice” (they were originally ne’er do wells in history). Meanwhile, “Delco Devil Mosh,” nods to the band’s blue-collar suburban background while warping it into an ancient evil. Plus, you know, the riffs bang. The second half og the track moshes as hard as GWAR’s all-time room smasher “Gor Gor.”

On the release, Singer Eric howls somewhere between Tom G. Warrior and Ink and dagger- he sounds like some sort of possessed wizard or maybe an Imp from the greatest video game of all- DOOM. But, despite the spookies and devils and evil spirits, the band is clearly having fun. That is, they playfully skip between “this stuff isn’t real, it’s just basically a horror movie, guys” and “I am dead serious about summoning demons, right now.” That is you can’t pin them down to one conceptual approach, which means you can’t criticize them for being overly serious nor overly silly. The lyrics, which swim in the dark and dangerous are probably just for fun… probably… but maybe there’s something MORE there… you know, the same thing that Frank Cotton thought when he got that cool black and gold box… and we all know how that ended up for him…

HIGHLY recommended.