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The Matter of China - Zila

The Matter of China
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 27 May 2016, 6:05 PM

THE MATTER OF CHINA is a Metalcore band based out of Germany. Formed in 2012, this is the band’s debut album, and contains ten tracks. “Faces of Reality” is the opening track. It’s a heavy track, fueled by the shouted/screamed vocals. Then, there are trading off clean harmonic vocals in the chorus. It’s not your typical Metalcore…the free-flowing section following the second chorus is almost jazzy in nature. “Doomsday” shifts a little closer to the genre of Hardcore in my opinion, but the guitar melodies and clean vocals keep it rooted in more musicality. There is also a breakdown section of sorts after the half way mark. “Spirit Maker” is even more melodic, with an extended chorus an ambient passage after the first verse. However, at this mark on the album I think they are more concerned with the brutality of the music than brighter melodies.

“Escape Fast Pace” intros with a metronome, keeping a steady, mid-tempo pace. The guitars stretch out more with some nifty harmonies, and the clean vocals in the chorus yearn for acceptance. The mood feels sad for me. Interestingly, the title track “Zila” is only a minute long, and with spoken word, describes the falling of a rain drop from the sky. It segues into “The Great Commonness,” which is a slower number, focusing more on deep anguish. There are moments of melody but they are short lived. “Supernova” is more guitar driven from the start, and the riffs more noteworthy. The vocals are still really charged, as intense as I have heard in the genre. “Wild Beating Hearts” opens with some twin guitar harmonies and overall just breathes a little wider in scope, letting some of the more brutal elements not be as prominent. “Igra Skrivaca” is the album closer, and really the only other song besides the short title track that is completely different. Harmonized vocals and acoustic guitars carry a sorrowful but pleasing sound.

Overall, the balance between harshness and melody is just a bit off on this album for it to be traditional Metalcore. The melody is more subtle and subdued and the only real morsels offered are usually with clean vocals in the chorus for example. But it’s a good starting point for a band’s debut album, and I can understand why they might not have wanted to sound like any other Metalcore band.

Songwriting: 6
Originality: 6
Memorability: 6
Production: 7

3 Star Rating

1. Faces of Reality
2. Doomsday
3. Spirit Maker
4. Escape Fast Pace
5. Zila
6. The Great Commonness
7. Supernova
8. Wild Beating Hearts
9. Another World
10. Igra Skrivaca
Christopher Then – Bass, Vocals
Marcel Pietschker – Guitars
Jannik Bottcher – Guitars
Pascal Sickau – Vocals
Phillip Hofling – Drums, Vocals
Record Label: 7Hard Records


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Edited 01 February 2023

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