Saturday 31 December 2022

ZOS - The Whole Of The Body I Call ZOS

Label: I, Voidhanger Records

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital

Release Date: 22 Apr 2022


1. The Whole Of The Body I Call ZOS

2. Volition

3. Black Albatross

4. On The Announcer Of Great Events

5. Oh, Mighty Rehctaw!

I hope the current holiday season is treating you all well! I'm currently planning my review schedule for early January, but I've still got time for one more review this year. I'm also having an I, Voidhanger Records binge of late, which is where this 2022 release from Polish drone/doom/weird trio ZOS comes in. It was released via I, Voidhanger in April and is the band's third full-length since their formation in 2018. Aside from the above, I know very little about ZOS. Let's allow the music to do the talking.

Starting with the opening track ‘The Whole Of The Body I Call ZOS’, you’re greeted with droning bass and ambient instrumentation centred around guitar and synth. After the initial near two-minute intro you’re thrust into a cacophony of seemingly indecipherable noise coupled with haunting and whispered black metal vocals. After spending the last few days reflecting on music in it’s countless forms and whether it’s virtuous  for an artist/band to follow their own creative path or one laid down for them by fans/trends, it occurs to me that ZOS are merely here to divide and fracture. That’s not to say they’re bad though; far from it. It’s what you make of it that counts.

I, Voidhanger is known for some of the most avant-garde portrayals of extreme music you’re likely to hear in this modern age and in ZOS the label has managed to capture a beast. ‘Volition’ shows off their droning influences to a greater extent, while also making use of anguished depressive/suicidal black metal wails that pierce your very soul. The world’s slowly descending into chaos, so music might as well provide an accompaniment.

Rewards come in the form of many things nowadays and the glorious metallic riffs that open ‘Black Albatross’ await you if you’ve made it to the mid-point of this album. The latter half of that sentence probably sounds a bit harsh on ZOS but please don’t take it the wrong way, because experimental music such as this instrumental proves there’s more than meets the eye here and it’s as gripping as the album artwork is frightening.

The disarming spoken-word sample/verse that sits atop of the minimalistic instrumentation during ‘On The Announcer Of Great Events’ cloaks the album in darker shrouds, before being overtaken by more immersive metallic tones and a further nod towards lowly doom. Sometimes it’s easier to spot the pretenders and to completely overlook those who genuinely mean what they’re doing. ZOS are certainly not pretenders. 

Album closer ‘Oh, Mighty Rehctaw!’ provides one final momentary glimpse into the minds of those behind ZOS. It relies much more heavily on drone as the backbone for something deeply rooted in occultism. The term ‘occult’ is being used a lot nowadays, especially thanks to the likes of Beastmilk and Ghost; however, it does describe the feeling you get from this final song and ZOS are unlike either of those aforementioned bands. 

2022 as a year has been many things and given what it’s followed, bands have a right to produce and release music that draws from the most challenging times. ZOS came through those times and in doing so, provided a body of work that’s both inwardly and outwardly reflective. To truly appreciate is to listen.

You can stream and purchase the album on all formats below:-


I, Voidhanger Records -

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