, a multicultural Metal band with beginnings in Lebanon, has defied the oppression of their Middle Eastern origins to give the world the gift of their brand of Metal…and what a gift it is. You could look at it as power metal or traditional heavy metal but no matter what you call it, it is straight up amazing.Maya Khairallah’s
vocals have a ton of emotions and energy to them; she eschews standard operatic vocals that permeate so many female fronted bands and instead focuses on a tight, punctual, vocal delivery. When you listen to ZIX,
you don’t think to yourself “She is a great female vocalist” but instead think “She is a great vocalist.” She delivers the lyrics with an almost actorl way of speaking; a high here, a low there, a shrieking scream, a soaring wail…she does it all in a way that just seems to roll off her tongue. She clearly has a lot of confidence in her voice and rightfully so. The ending of “Night of Evil”
has her singing at the top of her lungs while the entire band gives their all. It is moments like this that come often and never get old.
These moments of metal clarity are what I like most about the album; for a band that is relativity new, they are amazingly comfortable together and play like they have been going at it for twenty years.Ziad Bardawil’s
bass is nothing short of astonishing, going back to the old ways of where the bass leads the songs and you just craved to hear the galloping melody, similar to Steve Harris
. Often times the bass reminds me of older DARK TRANQUILLITY
albums, where the high pitched melodic rumble rises above everything and carries the song. That isn’t to say that guitarist Juan Carrizo
doesn’t bring anything to the sound; in fact, he has some very exciting guitar player, the best I’ve heard in this genre for some time. He shines on “A Thousand Wars At Sea,”
the beginning of the song feature some frantic yet melodic guitar playing that jumps into a galloping riff with an almost thrashy feel to it. His guitar solos are epic and actually remind me keyboards, so fast and melodic they are. The playing is very balanced, finding a perfect unison between melody and metal riffage.Rhino
plays on the album and he is an unstoppable as his name would suggest; he is definitely the back bone of the album and possesses the ability to play intricate drums that compliment the songs but are also memorable and catchy. His double bass and pounding snare on “The Warwhore”
keeps the song heavy and gives it momentum during the melodic finish. He works very well with the guitars, especially on “The Crucible,”
when the solo starts off slow and melodic the drums are equally methodical and increase intensity as the solo and riffs ramp up. As far as song lengths go, there isn’t anything epic on the outside looking in but once you delve into them, you will find the songs contain so much while also not wearing out their welcome. There isn’t anything overly repetitive and everything sounds fresh and adventurous. Without a doubt this is one album you cannot miss if you like Traditional, Melodic, or Power Metal.