Having just wrapped up their second European tour of the year, Moncton mantra-doom duo Zaum will perform their first hometown show in almost 18 months this Saturday night when they take to the stage at the Aberdeen Cultural Centre.
“The European Enlightenment Tour was fantastic and incredibly fulfilling,” begins Zaum bassist-vocalist Kyle McDonald. “With this most recent tour, we sought out shows in smaller cities to help give us a little more experience and insight into the 14 countries in which we played. We hadn’t actually performed in three of the countries – Portugal, Spain, and Croatia – before, which helped make them eye-opening experiences.”
Formed in 2013 by McDonald and drummer Chris Lewis, both of whom are long-standing musicians within the province’s music scene, the duo was brought together by a mutual love of slow, atmospheric heavy metal, and with the unique sonic twist of Middle Eastern and world music thrown into the mix.
To date, the duo has released two internationally acclaimed albums, 2014’s Oracles and last year’s release Eidolon. Additionally, the group has notched Music New Brunswick Award wins in 2016 and 2017 in the Loud Artist of the Year category.
Yet, despite their international success, the fact the group could almost be considered strangers in their own hometown isn’t lost on McDonald.
“Many friends and fans pointed out that we’d been to Romania three times since we last performed in the Maritimes, which was often followed by questions of why this was the case,” McDonald says.
“We spend such a significant amount of time touring that when we’re home, we’re just simply relaxing or getting back to work. I do think that if we didn’t tour as much as we did, we’d certainly be playing in the region more often, but as is, we quite like spreading out our homecoming opportunities to make them a more special event when we do play.”
Helping make this weekend’s Zaum performance a little something extra will be violinist Olive Bestvater and bass flautist Ricky Frenette, both of whom played on Eidolon and will join the band on stage. Also joining the show will be Saint John native Nawal Doucette, a Middle Eastern Dance instructor that will be performing a visual dance presentation.
“With both Olive and Ricky having played on our most recent record, we have been thinking for quite some time that it would be great to have them join us on stage. We’ve been kicking around the idea for quite some time. We are just glad it has finally come to fruition,” McDonald says.
As for what’s next for the band, the group is looking forward to releasing a video for its song “The Enlightenment” early in the new year, followed by the making of their third studio record.
“We also have plans for a festival circuit run in late 2018 throughout Europe, as well as bookings for Australia and the U.S. There is a lot of work ahead of us yet. We are just infinitely grateful to be given the opportunity to explore this unbelievable world we live in.”
What: Zaum: The Ritual Experience
When: Saturday Dec. 2, 8 p.m.
Where: Aberdeen Cultural Centre, 140 Botsford St., Moncton
Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Advance tickets are available at Spin-It Records (467 Main St., Moncton) and online at www.brownpapertickets.com.