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Zonderhoof : Hakken!

Zonderhoof bring something that most Post-Metal aficionados would instantly pick if they’re not allergic to “soundtrack-like” music.

I want to sing along. I want to sing along… I wanted to sing along!

Zonderhoof, whose self-titled EP released back in 2007 has created quite a stir in the Doom Metal scene (see our review) come back! Under the patronage of UK’s Undergroove Records to release their debut Hakken!, the Welsh band is bound to make themselves known to much a larger audience. Having released the CD as a promo free gift in the UK together with Terrorizer’s issue of September, it’d be hard to be ignored.

Despite the “marketing” factor which some may loathe here and there, Hakken! is filled with goodies and while not strictly per se a Doom Metal record, it's got enough of that heaviness to be featured on our pages. Try picturing three guys that blend together the Post-Metal of Pelican or Neurosis together with prog elements a la Baroness and a distinct stoner feel a la Acrimony with the musical tunings of the Melvins and you’d get a pretty good picture of Zonderhoof.

The tracks are intricate but never lose you. Quite the contrary actually, they tend to captivate and build on atmospheres. From five to ten minutes long tracks and almost reaching the hour mark, Hakken! is freaking intense and groovy at times and all of this thanks to guitar, bass and drums and a few vocal samples which may be found throughout the record. Problem? I guess none if you enjoy strictly instrumental music but the songs are so good that the addition of a vocalist would have helped them pass from memorable to cult status. I wanted to sing along.

Not sure if the band is satisfied with their formula as of now. They have all the reasons to be and I’m not sure if it were intended to be an all-instrumental band from the start or if they just gave up on vocals because they wouldn’t find anyone good enough. Personally, I could go with either Scheidt or Abandon’s Fredriksson (or both of them, haha) to take on the vocals… or me, I did a fairly good job under the shower!

Guess they make up for the absence of vocals with the funky titles of the songs (‘Bring Me the Head of the Shark God’ or ‘Swords Were No Match for the Plague of Flesh Eating Pigs’ to name a few) which somehow seem a lot more humorous than their music is but eh…

All in all, something that most Post-Metal aficionados would instantly pick if they’re not allergic to “soundtrack-like” music. I’d absolutely recommend it if you’re in any of the aforementioned band but am the more curious and eager to listen to how Zonderhoof would sound with a singer. Hey, wishful thinking is my specialty and Christmas is nearing, so hopes are high!

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Smoking Ears Screaming Teeth
2. Hogslayer
3. Frostbitten Trigger Finger
4. Bring Me the Head of the Shark God
5. Swords Were No Match for the Plague of Flesh Eating Pigs
6. Blowback vs Locked Breech
7. 50gms Will Blow Your Mind

Duration : Approx. 53 minutes

Visit the Zonderhoof bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-12-08 by Frédéric Cerfvol
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