Zaum returns home to Canada to supply a unique take on a established genre
Kyle McDonald is the founder, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist of the Moncton-based duo, Zaum. His background as a sound engineer shows through in the the band’s mantra-doom sound.
On stage, he and bandmate Christopher Lewis provide the chest-rattling force of a full ensemble with just two stage performers.
“When I approached the idea of the band I knew I wanted it to be a two person venture,” says McDonald. “I didn’t want it to sound like one, and it’s crafted in a way where that’s achievable live.”
As you will find on its 2016 album, Eidolon, Zaum’s sound plays double-duty. It achieves the density of traditional doom accented by a tranquil approach. Soft echoes, sludgy drumbeats and ethereal lyrics lift and carry the songs, helping add a lightness to them.
This melody choice was deliberate and McDonald knew that there would be some risk.
“There was a slight worry that maybe we’d go too far in a certain direction and alienate aspects of the metal community,” McDonald says.
McDonald decided against playing it safe sonically, having seen firsthand how certain certain bands stuck to a strict code of conduct when performing under a determined genre.
This is an integral reason why Zuam has toured throughout Europe—carving out its own niche and not being afraid to take chances. After a long absence from Canada, Zaum is returning with a Canadian tour, aiming to get back in touch with its home metal scene.
“It doesn’t feel like we’re doing this tour out of necessity, it feels natural being back here and we’re stoked for it,” McDonald says.
McDonald is mainly excited to be back in Canada, and is particularly keen on returning to Edmonton after a memorable performance last time through town.
With studio time planned in 2018, the band has no plans to cater their upcoming sonic ambitions to anyone but themselves.
“I mean it’s a self indulgent band sound-wise. If some people don’t like it, then so be it,” he says. “We get to do what we want to do at the end of the day.”
Sat., Aug. 12
Zaum w/ Flying Fortress, DRI HIEV and Pyramid/Indigo
Brixx Bar and Grill, $10