Zess: “Et In Arcadia Ego” CD
It is bewildering how many talented bands have been denied the opportunity to present their material whenever it was originally ready to go. Fortunately, in this particular case, Black Widow Records recognised the merit in “Et In Arcadia Ego” and agreed to release the long forgotten jewel sixteen years after the recording was first completed. Make no bones about it. This is a pulverising and atmospheric Doom Metal album, which has aged remarkably well. It may be of interest that Zess was an earlier incarnation of Malombra. However, this material is even heavier and somewhat straighter than that of its successor striking a path not unlike Count Raven, Stillborn or Blood Farmers. Sink your teeth into the ferocious “Revenants Of War” where the riffs and drumming are delivered with deadly finesse. Be prepared for the searing leads “In Mithra’s Den” and the hallucinogenic “Stamonium Experience” with Mercy’s omnipresent vocals. Closing hymn, “Requiem For The Human Beast” was later re-worked by Malombra, although for me, this is the definitive version. The album is a joy to behold and must become part of every self-respecting Doom fanatic’s collection.