Review: Gott – To Hell To Zion

Release: 01/09/2022 (Vinyl)

Let’s not be fooling ourselves: Even though there are numerous highly talented bands in the underground these days, the majority of the promos you get as a blog can usually be classified as average. Since we have always focused on the releases that really interest us, this is not a major problem that would take away the joy of our “work“. Beyond that, there are those very special promos that you immediately take to your heart and want to build a shrine for.

And this is where Gott comes into the picture. I could write a whole book about The Devil’s Blood at this point – but since I already have, I’ll skip it…. But seriously, when I’m confronted with an EP featuring the divine Farida Lemouchi singing, I’m not at all capable of writing an even remotely objective review. So please keep that in mind when you read the following paragraphs.

To Hell to Zion has already been out in digital form in April – on September 1st the vinyl will finally be released, which the author of these lines has of course already ordered, including the shirt, although I have become quite critical of this format for various reasons – but that’s a different topic.

It is obvious that every listener compares Gott with The Devil’s Blood when Farida spreads her magic at the microphone. Add to that the fact that the rest of the band, consisting of Twan van Geel (guitar; Soulburn, Legion of the Damned), Thijs van Laarhoven (guitar; Severe Torture), William van der Voort (guitar; Ggu:ll, Dodecahedron), Dave van Beek (bass; Ggu:ll) and Joep Schmitz (drums; Radar Men from the Moon), celebrate dark, mysterious heavy rock to die for.

To Hell to Zion impresses with the class and the passion of all musicians, which can be felt in every second. There are moments when you are transported into the ecstatic floating state that otherwise only the legend from Eindhoven could conjure up. No, I’m not suggesting that this EP contains a second “Voodoo Dust“, “The Heavens Cry out for the Devil’s Blood“ or “The Anti-Kosmik Magick“ – these are songs of which extremely few are made in 100 years. However, the opener “The Colour Empty“, “Venus in Mirage“ as well as “Peyote’s Dance“ are not far from the depth, intensity and indescribable, unfathomable, otherworldly beauty with which Selim has made this world a better place for many people.

That Gott like The Devil’s Blood can create magnificent covers, they prove with “The Chain“, which doesn’t have to hide from the original by Fleetwood Mac. This is also due to the guest contributions of the two In Solitude lads Gottfrid Ähman (piano) and Pelle Ähman, whose voice harmonises excellently with Farida and thus raises the track even to a higher level.

Do I need to write anything more about the latter artist? Farida is as forceful, mysterious and sexy as ever. There is no female singer who touches me like she can. Every note gets under your skin and caresses your soul. Tears of joy and goosebumps alternate when Farida, together with the irresistible guitar trio Twan, Thijs and William, opens up worlds that you would like to dive into eternally, because the desire to feel deep, genuine emotions is anchored in every human being – even if the intensity of these emotions may seem threatening at times.

Conclusion: There are records that are a kind of distortion of contest, as they outclass the “competitors“ from an artistic point of view. Gott are blowing up my rating framework as well, because there are no percentages that do justice to To Hell to Zion. But since I don’t want to be a killjoy, I’ll pull out the top score. I take a bow… and I’m going to work on the above-mentioned shrine. Let us fly on the wings of gloria… at least one more time!

Performance: 100%
Songwriting: 100%
Creativity: 100%
Variety: 100%
Entertainment: 100%
OVERALL: 100%***

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