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Zaum’s “The Enlightenment” Ushers You Into The Unknown


In a quote about their new video for “The Enlightenment Part 1,” Zaum bassist and vocalist Kyle Alexander McDonald says he was drawn to director Seth Smith because his work reminded him of David Lynch. While McDonald and drummer Christopher Lewis may have went into this collaboration looking for Lynch, what they came out with was far closer to Ridley Scott. The video for “The Enlightenment Part 1,” which you can stream exclusively below, is like a dark inverse of the opening of Scott’s Alien. Instead of recreating the images of birth, Smith uses similar visual techniques to represent death.

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It is an appropriate theme to pair with Zaum’s eerie approach to doom metal. The duo’s instrumental limitations force them to milk the most out of each riff they play. McDonald in particular works hard to turn what could sound like a conventional bass tone into the approximation of an organ’s multi-octave resonance. This sonic fog gives him the cover to move his singing voice into the far distance, a perfect complement for the video’s focus on life as it fades away.

Broken into a three-act structure that follows along with the ebbs of Zaum’s playing, “The Enlightenment Part 1″ depicts a man in search of lost youth. After “paying everything,” he finds himself trapped in a claustrophobic chamber and breathing from a mask. While he initially protests to this arrangement, the man gradually accepts his lot and waits quietly for release. When he finally gets it, he is led by an ominous cloaked figure, a clear stand in for the grim reaper, to a burning door. We never get a glimpse of what lies beyond that threshold, and neither does the old man. No matter how much he paid to run from the great unknown, he must step into the darkness all the same.

Here’s what McDonald has to say about the video:

Being that I’m a giant fan of the work of Seth Smith and Nancy Urich (of CUT/OFF/TAIL) due to their unique and unconventional approach to filmmaking — I felt Seth’s David Lynch-esque perspective could be a bizarre yet intriguing take on “The Enlightenment” for people to consider. Their work (like our music) inspires and encourages thought rather than providing literal answers. I’m thrilled with the result and hope people open their minds to the layers of potential reality.

You can Zaum on tour on the following dates and follow them on Facebook.

08/24/18 – Saint John, NB @ Secondspin *
09/13/18 – Ottawa, ON @ Orange Art Gallery **
09/14/18 – Montreal, QC @ Casa Del Popolo **
09/15/18 – Sudbury, ON @ Townehouse
09/16/18 – Hamilton, ON @ Doors
09/17/18 – Barrie, ON @ Foxx Lounge
09/18/18 – TBC @ TBC
09/19/18 – Kitchener, ON @ Hellcat
09/20/18 – Windsor, ON @ Windsor Beer Exchange
09/21/18 – Toronto, ON @ Coalition T.O.
09/22/18 – Quebec City, QC @ Scanner

*denotes ZAUM only
**denotes tribal dance artist Nawal Doucette performing in ZAUM

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