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Zephyra - Fall.Rise.Conquer

Zephyra
Fall.Rise.Conquer
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 08 July 2019, 4:41 AM

ZEPHYRA is a Metal band from Borås, Sweden. With Åsa´s distinctive and wide ranged vocals, they provide a wide sound in the metal genre, with the roots in Thrash and Melodic Death Metal. “Fall.Rise.Conquer” is the band’s third release, and contains ten new tracks.

“Dreams Denined” opens the album, with an electronic heavy entrance. Åsa’s vocals are indeed varied…she can go from cleans to harsh in a split second, and it does bring diversity to the sound, which is definitely Melodic Death Metal. The guitar riffs however often let the keys breathe which bring another element to the music. “Fange I Frihet” is a quick three-minute track. Opening with a heavy riff and an aggressive sound, it is sung in native Swedish. Some piano notes spring up here and there, and Åsa delivers another solid and varied vocal performance.

“Waiting for Nothing” features more of that electronica, which I enjoy. I also love the piano notes. It keeps the sound fresh, and they way it interacts with the guitars are like two warriors locked in battle, neither giving any ground. Following a breakdown, Gashi keeps those drums rolling forward. “Nothing Else Matters” is indeed a cover of the legendary METALLICA song of yesteryear. Their take is interesting. It’s a solemn play on the original but with their own twist for sure. It’s more ominous. “Paper Crown” opens with doleful clean guitar notes, leading to some vocal chanting, and a thick and crunchy guitar riff, complete with harsh Death vocals.

“After the Meltdown” opens with some weird and trippy notes, but then that main riff comes in and lays everything to waste with its weighted approach. The chorus is big and rich, something you often hear in the genre. “Svart Smarta” is over six minutes in length and sung in Swedish again. Opening with piano and some electronica, it really picks up and takes off. The Death vocals really resonate with me here, as the sound is mysterious and sinister. The clean guitar interlude offers a diverse palate, and as they build, the sound come crashing in once again. “A Letter for you” is a tender and more emotional song. Åsa shows her versatility here. The longing is drawn out and sucks you into their world. The final minute really shows what I am talking about here.

“My Pain” is another shorter song, clocking in at just over three minutes. It features a crunchy guitar riff and a mid-tempo pace. “Welcome to my pain” she croons, and it stabs you in the heart. “Man Chooses, Slaves Obey” closes the album. It’s over seven minutes in length. Opening with clean guitars and an air of mystery, it has a sad and melancholy sound. Then the main riff drops and it’s heavy, pairing perfectly with her harsh vocals. The interlude breaks up some of the chaos and darkness in the song quite well, and then it’s a sprint to the end.

Overall, I found this combination of Melodic Death Metal rooted in Thrash worked out very well. One thing the band is obviously not afraid of is to branch out and let some variation come into play. The electronica was there just enough to enjoy but did not take over the power of the riffs and harsh vocals.  I was also not prepared for the sheer might and seductive power of Åsa’s Death vocals. She sure can sing. In a veritable sea of Melodic Death Metal bands out there, this album stands out. They are teetering on the very brink of breaking through.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 9
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Dreams Denied
2. Fange I Frihet
3. Waiting for Nothing
4. Nothing Else Matters
5. Paper Crown
6. After the Meltdown
7. Svart Smarta
8. A Letter for you
9. My Pain
10. Man Chooses, Slaves Obey
Lineup:
Åsa Netterbrant – Vocals
Tony Netterbrant – Guitars
Al Rinald – Bass
Kutjim Gashi – Drums
Record Label: KingArt Music Management
     


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