To say that Zemial enjoy pushing boundaries is quite the understatement, and whilst every aspect of black metal was explored on 2006’s ‘In Monumentum’, the Greeks break out into every genre they can possibly think of to blend with the dark base.
‘Nykta’ is capable of messing up your head, with bizarre changes kicking in as soon as you’ve settled into that black metal part, or a slow instrumental. Whilst tracks such as ‘Breath of Pestilence’ take on a stable yet exciting twist of black ‘n’ roll, the likes of ‘Pharos’ stutter with schizophrenic tendencies, with this particular track screaming blackened opera, progressive silliness and ambience all in one.
As mind-bending as it all sounds, their experimentation is commendable and at times makes the likes of Ihsahn look totally sane particularly on opener ‘Ancient Arcane Scrolls’. Beginning with blackened themes, the extremity stays throughout the eight minutes but convulses between melody, brutality and technicality before burning down into something atmospheric. Despite a strong production and aura aplenty, the overall album is a struggle to embrace due to the sporadic flow and overwhelming elements. It’s still dark and will certainly keep you on the edge of your seat but like a bad horror film, the overall conclusion is that it’s not worth your attention.
Reviewed by Lily Randall
‘Nykta’ is out 31st October on Hells Headbangers
You’ll like this if… you fancy something Greek and confusing that isn’t related to economy
published for soundshock.com