Here is a translation of Panos Kourgiounis exhaustive reviews of ZINVMM´s discography. The text was originally in Greek. The translation was made by Panos´girlfriend. From here, sending them a huge THANK YOU for this amazing & passionate work.
The original text can be found here.
In the last few years, technology gives the opportunity to new bands to release their albums in digital form, saving them from the effort of finding labels, distributers etc. It also allows them to share their work when it is still fresh and we can enjoy it without much delay, keeping good track of the underground movements. This is how bandcamp and soundcloud built nowadays, stone by stone, a whole new world of Black Metal. Therefore, all musicians need to do is a small discount at their dark aesthetics and a facebook account, the use of which will create some new underground restlessness waiting to be discovered.
Far away from our familiar Black Metal scenery, at the edge of Europe, in the center of Andalusia and more specifically in the city of Granada, there lives a Spanish who wishes to be called “Zinumm”, who, through his personal project, hears carefully what life has to tell him. Let us travel away to the mountains of Galicia and meet old music in new forms to accompany us while we are getting lost in forests we have not known until today.
“…my land is gone, so am i” is the heading of Zinumm’s first album, making indirect reference to its basic concept. European folklore tradition give inspiration to the lyrical part, written in Gaelic, a language spoken in Galicia before the advent of Christianity. Through this cultural perspective, this debut uses a spiritual basis as well as an ideological approach to express, in a poetic way, what he feels and stands for, by sinking deep in the sacredness of the past and all the spontaneous emotions that come with it.
So here we find black metal living in the pagan times of the genre, with influences by bands such as Bathory, Burzum, Darkthrone, Ulver, among others. The Spanish man uses many stereotypes, clichés and specific patterns with clever sequences which make listening to the album interesting and its content seems genuine and authentic. He delivers prudently and methodically this music, which carries a past aura, strong enough to create the necessary emotions for those who seek them. The album includes parts with high speed and melodic riffs, ambient/folk passings with a carefully crafted feeling around them and also mid tempo floating “pauses” which smoothen the whole. He has combined past and new elements, parting exquisitely the emotional effect of the whole between today and yesterday. Consequently, he will mix the Norwegian Pagan starting point with modern (pagan) usbm outbreaks, which make one’s mind and soul wonder. In the vocal part, he has a place near Wolves In The Throne Room, crying out primitive instincts, which naturally makes the words incomprehensible. His riffs move through familiar paths and the alloy of his music carries a bonding energy capable of trapping listener’s attention.
The composition is carefully made down to the very last detail of the tracks, combining aptly all those that he wishes to tell us with all those that we want to listen. All this can be found in the atmosphere as a unity, which exudes an aura of freedom with the potential to trigger the listener’s emotionalism, offering an enjoyable place to sit and contemplate.
The soul of the artist seems totally focused on a pagan perception as a way of life and it expresses itself through a rejuvenating mood in his music. The influences however, are apparent throughout the debut. But this is where the chaff is separated from the wheat, the perceptual ability of the musician will appear and cut off all weeds of copying. Listen for example the tracks “Ní Bheidh Aon Duine Maireachtáil” & “Is É Mo Talamh Imithe Rn Mar Sin I” which remind us strongly of Burzum, but observe in them a warm performance that changes the style, it is a combination of inspiration and personality/objective. The man from Andalusia is charismatic in general, because apart from the musical/lyrical parts, he has worked on the whole package, that involves recording, producing, mixing his album on his own. The debut is dedicated to Quorthon, one of his musical heroes. As a tribute to the great Swedish man, he chose to do a cover at the acoustic part of A Fine Day to Die from the Blood, Fire, Death album, which was a source of inspiration for the lyrics, you will find it hidden behind the title Lá Breá Le Bás.
In Conclusion, I would like to add a small note the artist himself has written for his debut, since it sums up his vision and his method in what he is trying to achieve: “Everything on this record has it sense, everything that sounds here has a reason to sound in the precise moment that sounds. This record has been in mind of its creator since more than fifteen years ago. Find your moment in the day to pay to this record the attention that deserves, I’m sure you´ll appreciate it.
2012-Ambient Works, vol. 1
As a true enthusiast of ambient music, from this year on, he begins a sequence of works in forms away from Black Metal, put together with beautiful front covers in the same warm tone. Here, we will find the first track entitled ” An Cinniúint Roinnte” which is over 10 minutes long and wonders slowly and carelessly on snow-covered mountain peaks.
Quietness plays a fundamental role in the ambient music he wants to create and he manages to do that rather effortlessly. Here, he cultivates the sense of infinite and that of quiet expectance, which are reached by the use of strings (or maybe xylophone), but without adding any extra moves that could change its polarity. Slow and sober, without however reaching the point where ambient stops being musical, he weaves a sonic inkle with midnight colors. Towards the end we will find some different vocals for a while. In his personal report, he states benevolently: ” Avoid laptop speakers for a better experience, Low range Headphones are also welcome.”
2012-Ambient Works, vol. 2
The second track draws its inspiration from earthly sculptures, works of art by artists such as Richard Serra, Alan Lamb, Tonkin Liu. It’s title, ” Vlissingen”, comes from an homonymous Dutch city, where Wind Organ exists (a strange installation/organ that plays music autonomously, according to the direction of the wind), the sound of which was recorded by some Klank Beeld and used by Zinumm for samples. Here, the logic of drone has a bigger part of the sound collage, making the entirety more introverted and diffusive. In parallel, deep inside, we will find stronger sounds that intensify the composition, emitting an imposing aura capable of occupying the place. The track, even though it’s long (over 15 minutes), has a smooth flow, not tiring at all and it’s course, despite its dark aura, leaves a pleasant and rejuvenating mood after listening to it. The matching cover, probably hand-drawn, revives memories, giving an earthly dimension to mental journeys.
The successor of his debut was released in 2012, an Ep pointing towards the Black Metal path, which he made himself in a beautiful handmade edition(I haven’t only clarified whether the hand-drawn covers are his own creation too) . Lobishome is the name of a werewolf in Galicia and the Ep is dedicated to the myth that haunted all Europe, to the pain, sadness, memories, but also to the freedom. At the same time, he makes a reference to the Fragas Do Eume forest, which was burnt down for the greedy personal interest of a few. The lyrical part is inspired by the poems of Emilio Celso Ferreiro “Tenho O Corazón Senlleiro” and of Claudia Cives “Ouveos”.
Here, we have a small but complete work that manages to create more passion and will, melody and harmony. His musical plan has not changed, compared to the debut, but it is more tense and expressive.So, we will find an Atmospheric Black Metal plan mixed with some folk elements, Zinumm’s classical guitar and some speed, when the totems are released. The homonymous starting track is a formidable crescendo, the following Coida De Min, Coida Da Noite is an acoustic application and Uvea, Ouvea Solitario (Tenho Lobos, Tenho Sombras) is their undisputed combination. Essentially, we have 3 tracks that look like small sections of one big track and this allows the entirety to inspire without haste specific emotions and lead to a wonderful aura. Lobishome has a really atmospheric sound, putting melody and aggressiveness in balance, and the ways it uses to unify its ideas aims at increasing more and more the listener’s emotional spur. The vocals here are enriched with other expressions in slower tempo and they seem to “fit” him more than the overly aggressive ones, that sometimes resemble to Anaal Nathrakh. The attacks that live inside the songs have the constant of the smooth linear move that’s always charming in its monotony, in slow or fast tempo. In parallel, the downhill of the flow and the ceasefire add melodic elements that help the whole to flourish.
The first thing that made me notice Zinumm was this picture you can see just over this text. A photo that reveals his personality and gives some information on his work. The narrow path through the forest formation and the wanderer who takes its course. How many times have we seen this image, yet how little do we understand about the deeper meaning of this act. Will he actually wander in a path with heart? This is what’s missing from today’s Black Metal, for it’s not the good albums that are missing, but the capable musicians who have chosen a steady path. People who perceive music as a mean to express what they feel and what they believe in. So the saturation is not in the notes but in the aesthetics and perspectives and what’s missing is not a good riff, style and trend but the lack of determined positions. No, I will not go on judging those who choose the easy way, or analyzing how annoying nihilism and lack of spirituality is, I will just emphasize how different is the average young person I see growing out there and how rare Zinumm’s character is. Black Metal has proven to be carrier of ideas, has talked about a lot and will talk about more in the future. We, as simple followers of its philosophy, are here to point out that life through a certain prism can be seen with new eyes and be lived with the dignity required by self-esteem. So, listen to his music, visit his blog and see if you have things in common with his aesthetics, talk to him in facebook. After all this, you will have all that is necessary to tell yourselves about who you’re dealing with. Personally, I’ve always admired and will go on admiring the targeted path in life.