ZOUS - "No Ground To Give" (Gold Nugget)
Plunging the depths of death metal with hardcore intensity, Zous resembles a cataclysmic event—all by the design of one man. Vocalist, producer, mixer, engineer, and multi-instrumentalist Taylor Young pours intense focus into an unshakable sonic architecture rooted in technical proficiency and pit-splitting brutality. After a successful demo release earning acclaim from Decibel, Metal Injection, and more, he delivers a deadly and dynamic vision on the band’s 2021 Mini-LP, No Ground To Give [Closed Casket Activities/Maggot Stomp].
“I love classic death metal that almost sounds like hardcore,” he explains. “This is something I’ve always wanted to do. I had a long time to think about how I hoped it would sound, and now the project has an aesthetic of its own.”
In the middle of the Global Pandemic, he finally carved out the time to pursue his initial ambition. Taylor first introduced Zous via the Pandemicon EP, which he wrote, recorded, and finished in less than a week. Physical copies and merch quickly sold out as the music piqued tastemaker interest. Decibel promised, “ZOUS will hold instant appeal to old-school devotees.” Throughout 2021, he crafted what would become No Ground To Give.
This time around, he increased the energy all-around.
“I wanted to make it a little more technical—up the tempos, more blast beats, and faster riffs,” he goes on. “There are some newer and meaner elements.”
The first single “Stepped On” charges forward on steamrolling double bass and gnashing guitars. Taylor’s growls deliver a gut punch offset by a shrill scream courtesy of Brad Boatright (who also mastered the record) and noise from Full of Hell’s Dylan Walker. “It’s a direct response to the George Floyd tragedy,” he admits. “I hated the idea someone would get upset over rioting in response to such a fucked-up thing. If you’re stepped on long enough, you’re going to fight back.”
Elsewhere, Takafumi Matsubara [Gridlink] tears through a head-ripping solo on the opener “Coup de Main,” while Leon del Muerte, guitarist of too many bands to count, makes an explosive appearance on the hammering “Authoriticon.” It all culminates on the death metal supernova of “Event Horizon.” After covering Autopsy’s “Torn From The Womb” on Pandemicon, Taylor joins forces with Autopsy singer/ drummer and death/doom pioneer Chris Reifert who provides guest vocals on a cathartic and caustic finale cast in flames of distortion. “Having Chris on ‘Event Horizon’ is one of the biggest milestones I’ve had musically,” he goes on. “I’ve been listening to him for half of my life. We traded records and became friends. The track just kind of happened afterwards. The dynamic was really relaxed and fun.”
Vinyl comes package in a tip-on lp jacket, complete with the No Ground To Give EP on Side A and the Pandemicon EP on Side B
Side A - "No Ground To Give"
-Coup De Main
-Pray A Lie
Side B - "Pandemicon"
-Torn From The Womb