Old Man Gloom and Zozobra have released a live album from their 2019 performance at the Roadburn Festival. Zozoburn has been made available on Bandcamp, with proceeds from the month of September going towards the National Bail Fund Network, The Federation Of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assitance Fund, Pueblo Action Alliance and Loveland Therapy Fund for Black Girls and Women.
The album was released as part of Bandcamp’s Friday promotional campaign, where artists are allowed to keep 100 percent of the proceeds from each purchase on the first Friday of the month. Old Man Gloom wrote at the end of their Bandcamp page, “And as always: For Caleb,” in memory of their bandmate, Caleb Scofield, who passed away in 2018.
Santos Montaño and JR Conners both play drums, while Stephen Brodsky and Nate Newton take on bass and guitar. Aaron Turner and Adam McGrath also play guitar, with Stephen Brodsky, Aaron Turner, Nate Newton, Adam McGrath and Jacob Bannon each taking on vocals. Scott Vermeire’s vocals are also sampled during “A Hideous Nightmare Lies Upon The World.”
Zozoburn begins with thunderous vocals, clashing drums and wicked guitar. Starting off with “Shoulder Meat,” the set shows the heavy sounds Old Man Gloom and Zozobra planned to deliver during their set. The set included 14 tracks total, with Old Man Gloom performing the first nine songs just by themselves and Zozobra joining on stage for the final five.
“Common Species” comes as the album’s second track, with guitar feedback hanging over the crowd as they prepare to delve into the song. The sound echos and lingers over the air before Old Man Gloom devolves into their throaty vocals and thrashing sound. The band alternates between electric feedback and epic clashing.
“Burden” also gives lingering feedback, the crowd cheering as they gear up for the next track. The guitar strums soon fill the air, the solo continuing on for a minute before the drums and bass enter. Soft chanting vocals can hardly be heard, the guitar continuing to take center stage. The song slowly builds up to its heavy metal sound, the guitar mimicking the chanting and breathing before the vocals come in to take over.
Beginning with drums that mimic a heartbeat, “Simia Die” has the band simulate panting in the song’s intro. The entirely-instrumental track highlights the depth of each guitar, bass and drum found throughout the track.
“A Hideous Nightmare Lies Upon The World” stands as the longest track in the set, at 13 minutes and 13 seconds. With whooshing feedback, the track garners energy from the crowd as it prepares to begin. Vermeire’s vocal samples speak over the feedback, their sound soft as they add commentary. The guitar begins to strum, the drums slowly beating before each instrument picks up pace. The screaming vocals sound distant, blending into the guitar before coming to the forefront.
“Gift” begins like the others with the feedback having over the air, allowing each track to build excitement for audience members. The rolling screams sound as if they blend into the track, where it becomes difficult to know if someone is howling or if the sound comes from the distorted guitar. The lyrics are sung and harmonized, the vocals flowing over the track as the song builds up to screaming.
“The Bleeding Sun” includes guitar strums in a more upbeat tone than the tracks which had followed, their distortion still found. The rough vocals which accompany the track bring an interesting contrast, with the guitar sounding almost peaceful amid the doomsday sound of the lyrics. The track soon builds up in speed, opening the crowd up for a mosh pit.
“Sleeping With Snakes” incorporates a faster beat, the lyrics quickly spitting out through the duration of the track. The song prior showed that Old Man Gloom were beginning to pick up the pace of their songs, with “Sleeping With Snakes” heightening the energy levels that had been building up throughout the entire set.
“To Carry The Flame” continues the energy found in the previous two songs, with the bands hitting their energetic stride. While the track itself has a less fast-paced tempo than the previous tracks, Old Man Gloom throw in everything they have to create an epic sound.
Zozobra join Old Man Gloom on stage for “The Cruelest Cut,” the crowd and bands feeding off of each other. The track flows through quickly, the heavy vocals spitting out each lyric.
“Soon to Follow” continues where the last track had left off, both Old Man Gloom and Zozobra playing their hearts out. Each instrument struts around, a brief pause in the middle of the track allowing for feedback sounds. both bands quickly return, various vocals highlighting separate sections from the song.
“Emanate” returns to a quicker sound, the energy nearly overflowing. The cascading guitars, beating drums, thundering bass and heavy vocals each continue to add to the energetic sound, the recording showcasing how Old Man Gloom and Zozobra work together in a seamless manner.
“Invisible Wolves” continue with the energy found in “Emanate,” the guttural screams delivering a heavy sound, with the instruments slowly devolving and falling into their own flow. The track delivers a quick motion, the drums clashing behind and continuing with the most energy out of all the other instruments. The song soon switches to a more ritualistic sound, with the vocals losing their screaming sound for a brief moment.
As the final song of the set, “A Distant Star Fades” gives a slightly slower beginning. The guitar rocks on its own, the vocals and instruments wrap up their sound in a departing manner. The drums continue their quick manner, while the rest of the instruments begin to sort of slow down while continuing their loud manner.
Back in June, Old Man Gloom released the B-sides “Willing Vessel” and “Storms In Our Eyes” on Bandcamp. The proceeds from that release were also for charity, with donations going towards the Minnesota Freedom Fund, National Bail Out, Navajo Nation COVID-19 Fund, Communities United Against Police Brutality, NAACP Legal Defense and Action Fund, Black Visions Collective and Reclaim the Block. Old man Gloom had also surprised released their album, Seminar IX: Darkness Of Being this past March.