For Death Comes Lifting’s First interview, our friends at Redefining Darkness records were kind enough to let us interview h.m. of Zohmah. hailing from Israel as a one man extreme metal project, h.M. has expanded zohmah into a full band and are gearing up for their newest release, spread my ashes. the album is an awesome form of depressive death and atmospheric black metal expression, that is a must listen for any fan of the genre. thanks to H.m. for being such an inspiringly passionate and talented individual, as well as being cool enough to do this interview. Dig it below!
DCL: Being as Zohamah started as a solo project, releasing this music in Israel, an area I’m only assuming is not all that well-receptive of wicked extreme metal like your own, is quite a brave and bold statement to make no matter where you’re at. What ignited this passion in you to take such a bold stance, put yourself out there, and form what would become this great band?
HM: First of all I think courage is not needed when doing the thing you love, you need the will and something you believe in to push you forward. What motivated me in creating Zohamah was the passion I have for music, in my profession as a sound technician and a backliner, I do the best I can to maximize the result, same goes for my music.
DCL: Building on that question, what is the metal scene, or lack thereof, like where you’re at in Israel?
HM: The metal scene in Israel is very active, there are many concerts of local bands and bands from abroad very often.
DCL: Did you receive any sort of initial, or even still ongoing, blowback or negative criticism? Did it just freak people out? Conversely, did you get a positive reaction from the anyone? or the metal scene?
HM: The truth is that I got only good feedback. I believe that those who did not like just did not say anything.
DCL: Where did the inspiration for this band and your lyrical content come from? any bands or records, literature, art, philosophy, etc.
HM: I worked with many bands so I got to listen to so many things, I believe it had some influence. I created music that expressed my state of mind at the time. I just wanted to create the thing that felt right for me. As for the lyrics, I always liked bands with a depressive lyrics and in general i really enjoy depressive black metal such as “Forgotten Tombs.”
DCL: Also being as you initiated this as a solo project, what instrument did you play first when you started? And what is your preferred instrument to play now?
HM: I started playing bass at the age of 13-12, but pretty quickly switched to five strings. In the last few years I started playing guitar and the same story happened there and very quickly I switched to 7 strings. My favorite instrument is drums.
DCL: Amidst all of the other instrumentation, the guitar seems to stand out to me a lot on this record. Wether it be the low and heavy catchiness of “Black Cloud” or the beautiful melody in “Spread My Ashes”, it is displayed very well. Could you tell us more about the guitar work on this record and what went into it? Also, which type of guitar you use or prefer using?
HM: The album was written and recorded during a very difficult period in my life. While writing the guitars my one goal was to convey the pain and anger I was going through. I play a Shechter Blackjack 7 strings and Warwick Corvette 5 strings bass (German from 2005), i have this bass for 11 years now but i would love to have a Spector euro series bass.
DCL: Having listening to your record multiple times at this point, it’s safe to say there’s a lot going on here. Each song sounds has an almost totally different vibe from the other. What influenced you to take the atmospheric, genre-blending, multi-instrument, route with this band? Have you always had a desire to make this diverse type of metal?
HM: It’s hard for me to point a certain thing that influenced me in creating this album. as I said before, i just created what i felt. each song was written in a different time in my life and a lot was going on so i guess this is why the album has so many vibes to it.
DCL: The songs are pretty short, in terms of an atmospheric metal record,anyway. There are no daunting 13 minute compositions or anything like that. Was this done intentionally? Perhaps to make the material more traditional style song length to make it more easily digestible to the listener or anything along those lines?
HM: I personally do not think there should be any rules regarding a song's length in one genre or another. If the artist feels that the song he/she created (even if it's a 60 seconds song) speaks the message he wanted it to say, that is enough.
DCL: Fair enough! So, What is the songwriting process like for you? Does it start with a riff or a vocal pattern? Do you have a formula or is it different for each song?
HM: I do not think I have any formula but most of the songs are written first from the guitars and only after I finish writing the music i write the lyrics.
DCL: Whats your favorite Black Sabbath album?
HM: I don’t listen to Black Sabbath.
Well there you have it, folks. Thanks for reading and check back for more soon!!
Get Zohamah’s fantastic record, spread my ashes, Right here: