Alms

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13/20
Band Name Zx Spectrum
Album Name Alms
Type EP
Released date 2009
Labels Self-Released
Music StyleDeath'n'Roll
Members owning this album0

Tracklist

1. 60Days
2. Fair Facts
3. Ignore & Forget
4. Waste to Waste
5. Mess

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Zx Spectrum


Review @ GandhiEgo

05 January 2010
There are many outstanding things about ZX Spectrum. Well, first the name. You might think lab equipment or some IT hardware stuff and in this sense it is pretty misleading. Then their country of origin: Latvia. I’m an avid underground fan and quite frankly it is the very first Latvian band I’ve ever listened to! If you add to this the fact that they label their own music Death n’ Roll and their latest offering is mysteriously named “Alms” (wtf?), that's ample enough to get my curiosity stung and this probably should work on you too.

ZX Spectrum formed back in 2000 and have previously released three demos before this EP. All of them you can find for free download on their website. And if you need more obvious hints, that means go get them!

Their music is quite a challenge for untrained ears. When one reads “Death n’ Roll”, names like Pungent Stench or Entombed resurface quite naturally. Except that “Alms” displays something altogether different from the two aforementioned bands. ZX Spectrum's music is really more “roll" than it is “death” and the closest thing that I thought about was Carcass’ Swansong. The vocals are raspy and raucous but are much more intelligible than your typical guttural vokills from any given Death Metal band and the overall feeling given by the music is that you're in for some good ole Rock n' Roll.

In more than many ways, it is also very similar in approach to a band that used to be a Carcass' copycat in their earlier days. Yes, you saw it coming: Xysma. Is it the influence of Baltic Sea that tends to mellow Death Metal into some raucous Hippie metal? I wouldn’t know. Such bands are rare and though the performance is highly original, it takes open-mindedness to really get into it. A few listens won’t do, and you’ll have to play this over and over to eventually grab the whole thing and make it yours. Which is rather paradoxical given the light tones displayed in ZX Spectrum’s music. If Xysma doesn't ring your bell because you skipped that much influential band or are just too young to know them, maybe mentioning Aarni would give you enough insight as how strange such music may be.

All in all, provided that you’ve got out of your “uber trve” rebel angst, it’s a very commendable effort displayed by these young Latvian prodigies. It is daring and inspiring and it’s well produced. Obviously, if you think that only the likes of Behemoth or Incantation have Death Metal right, you will at least be in for a surprise and probably just scared away by how different their music is.

Nonetheless a must listen to check what Death Metal may offer other than the repetitive and countless releases of TBDM or TXDM… Very unique.

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