Like I said yesterday Season Of Mist is doing some really interesting stuff right now, and perhaps the most promising offering they've got coming out this year. Billed as 'ethereal blackened death' Zhrine somehow manage to provide exactly that with punishing moments of brutality couched in lush keyboards, powerful guitar tones and vaguely ambient soundscapes. Unortheta is an album that reflects a darker part of the human condition, a side of human suffering that only metal can truly touch on, and this allows you to get fully lost in the sound.
One of the things that gets me about this record is not just how weird it is conceptually but also the beautiful diversity in the sound. Every song on this record has a distinct sense of forward motion, a sort of devastating crush that only comes form the best musicians allowing you to suffer with them, finding salvation from the solitude. Zhrine are, if nothing else, incredible composers, these songs resonate because they represent the bands unique approach, to well, just about everything. The ability to merge atonality with riffs that are almost hooky is stunning and though it's certainly alienating for those who aren't ready for it, those of us who have dedicated our lives to this kind of music will fall in love.
Perhaps the only band that Zhrine are at all comparable to is Downfall Of Gaia, both bands share a sense of transcendent, sublime beauty and incredible drummers. It leads to a sound that is overwhelming, it can take quite a few spins to properly take in what is being done on Unortheta but as you pick it apart it rapidly becomes clear that Unortheta is an album that reaches into your soul and tears out your heart. Zhrine don't have a lot of peers because no one has their insane level of talent or despair - making this one of the most promising records I have heard in a good long while.
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