Review Summary: This album will satisfy your ears until Hypocrisy releases a new album.4 of 4 thought this review was well written
I was reading the local newspaper when I came across a double paged article about a new Swedish metal band named Zonaria. I remember this huge picture with four dark and murky figures and when I started to read I came across these famous words ‘’melodic death metal’’. I continued to read with big enthusiasm and I said to myself that I have to find their debut album, and my interest of finding the album was increased when I stumbled upon this review on the internet. The reviewer claimed that it was ‘’the lost album of Hypocrisy’’. I love Hypocrisy of all death metal bands so of course I had to find the album. I looked around for a while and I finally found it, and now I have to agree with that reviewer that this does sounds like a lost Hypocrisy album. Zonaria plays almost the same type of death metal as Hypocrisy, which is atmospheric, powerful, aggressive melodic death metal. The band is currently on a tour with Peter Tagtgren’s project called Pain (Peter himself invited them to come along).
I continued to read about this album and the reviewer claimed that this is probably one of Swedish death metal’s strongest debut albums of 2007. Zonaria’s album Infamy And The Breed delivers crushing melodic death metal in the same spirit as Hypocrisy. This album is fuelled by an atmospheric background sound from keyboards, melodic guitar leads are followed by majestic and solid rhythm sections. Well executed double bass kicking drum patterns gives the tracks extra strength and the amazingly well-performed vocals of Simon Berglund really stand out. This is a perfect example where hard work really pays off, Zonaria was formed around 2001 but they haven’t released an album until now in 2007. The sound production on this album is flawless, no instrument interferes with each other and the vocals add a lot of texture to the dark music. The guys use more emotional elements instead of challenging techniques. For example, The Black Omen is the ‘’ballad’’ of the album, Rendered In Vain has an apocalyptic feel to it and Image Of Myself reeks of frustration due to the very powerful vocals. Chirsitan Alvestam provides some additional vocals in the track 2 and 4.
Truth to be told, this is one of the most flawless debut album I have heard. This time it is up to you to decide if you like it or not. But I will still point out a few things that I think is important before you decide to look up this album. The good stuff on this album would be the high-pitched growls or the harsh screams (it’s difficult to describe the vocals). One thing that really makes this album to stand out would be the thick guitar sound which Hypocrisy uses in their material. It really gives the album a unique sound that would impress many metal fans. There are various types of melodies here, creepy, mysterious and soothing melodies, and then mix everything with large doses of lethal heaviness and brutality. Overall this album is pure excellence, but there are still a few minor flaws. One thing would be the slight lack of variety of vocal work, and the death metal which is delivered here is not intense or hyper speeded. There is still a good deal of technicality in all instruments, but the album slightly lacks of song variety. The lyrics definitely needs some more work, the band has after all chosen lyrics based on stuff that has to do with the world today. They don’t follow the stupid trend of mutilating poor girl scouts, making sacrifices to Satan or hunting down believers of God or whatever. Good choice of lyrics but fixes needs to be done.
I refuse to call Zonaria as a Hypocrisy clone because they aren’t. I could still say that they seem to be highly influenced by Hypocrisy, sound wise. Hypocrisy should be proud that there are bands that actually get influenced and gets new ideas from them. Infamy And The Breed delivers several highlights like the ponderous Pandemic Assault, the frustrated Image Of Myself and the sad ‘’ballad’’ The Black Omen. But it needs to sink in; this is not an album that you will like instantly. This album will satisfy your ears until Hypocrisy releases a new album.
+ Superb sound production
+ Very heavy and atmospheric melodic death metal
+ The vocals are really strong and loud
+ These ’’kids’’ sound like real experienced professionals
- Decent song variety
- Zonaria needs to work on their lyrics and perhaps broaden the vocal work.
-- Pandemic Assault (A very heavy and diverse track, best of them all.
-- Image Of Myself (Good melodies and great vocals, as I said before, a frustrated track.
-- Rendered In Vain (A heavy hitter, similar to Pandemic Assault except with a darker atmosphere.
-- The Black Omen (A sad sort of ballad, good melodies and a calm atmosphere.