Review Summary: Zero bullshit
Never have I heard of a band that is so aptly named. According Zyklon's guitarist Samoth (also of the legendary black metal band Emperor), Zyklon is an adaptation of the Norwegian word syklon, which means cyclone, which is basically the music in a nutshell. Disintegrate is a cyclone from start to finish, a blitzkrieg of extremely technical drumming wrapped up in a whirlwind of ferocious guitar riffs without any let up. Unlike your traditional hurricane, tornado, etc, there is no eye of the storm. Disintegrate is pure, unadulterated, unchained fury.
Zyklon is another one of the many bands that is labeled as blackened death metal, however it really isn’t very black metal at all and it probably only received this title due to its members which include Samoth and Trym of Emperor. There are minor black metal influences throughout, but for the most part they have been abandoned for a style of extreme death metal that dips heavily into thrash, industrial and even hardcore as the album progresses.
First of all, the drumming on Disintegrate is complete insanity. Trym is widely hailed as one of the fastest and most technically proficient drummers of black metal and in my opinion he is very deserving of this title. Like most drummers of any genre of extreme metal, Trym abuses the double bass to no end even during the slower sections of the album, but it is used efficiently and creatively without disrupting the flow of the album or creating a jackhammer atmosphere that many death metal listeners find unpleasant. As well as having a pair of wickedly fast feet, Trym possesses an unnatural one-handed roll speed. Several blast beats on the album reach such chaotic speeds that its hard to believe he is only using one hand but sure enough the clinking of the high hat or the crash of the cymbal shines throughout proving his unnatural speed to be genuine and one-hand.
The guitar structure of Disintegrate is a mixed bag, featuring many different sounds and styles that are fused together seamlessly. Although Zyklon was formed by members of Emperor, there is very little black metal involved here. The vast majority of the album is comprised of lead heavy guitar a riffs in a low tuning (which are uncommon for black metal) that are generally palm muted or played very rapidly. Little bits and pieces of black metal poke out every so often in the form of heavy distorted double notes that cause a fuzzy interference. This kind of sound is common in modern metalcore, but it was originally pioneered by more melodic black metal acts. Disintegrate even contains a trace of sludge embodied in the last track “Skinned and Endangered” which is played at snails pace behind a backdrop of churning low end.
Lastly, the vocals are distinctly varied and progressive for a “blackened death metal” band. During the first half or so, vocalist Secthdamon uses a boring cookie cutter growl that really doesn’t add much to the music. Later on however, he explores many different vocal textures, using a harsh scream and the occasional scream. Near the end, Secthdamon gets rid of growling and screaming almost completely a favors a raspy shout that isn’t necessarily singing, but definitely more unique and understandable than growls.
The most remarkable thing about Disintegrate is that there is absolutely zero bull***. There is not a trace of acoustic melodies, soothing atmospheres or even enchanting guitar riffs. There are plenty of solos and slower sections, but there shred and tear just as much face as the rest of the music. There is very little (if any) filler, and the record is extremely consistent and enjoyable. Unlike most black/death bands that adhere to a very simple formula, Zyklon has managed to be creative and explorative of several different genres while retaining their consistency and relevance in extreme metal. You won’t find anything beautiful here; all they have here is hate.