Chuck Schuldiner Project

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Zarraza - Rotten Remains

Kazakhstan isn't exactly a locale known for its metal. Zarraza though are seeking the change that. After eight years of grinding it out the band is reaching new heights with their punishing groove metal assault. While bands like Lamb Of God are clearly a huge influence here it's also apparent that Zarraza have spent time with Pantera, Exhorder and Machine Head. The high powered delivery of this latest EP, Rotten Remains is sure to fascinate the listener and inspire fierce mosh pits across the globe with its re-recordings of the bands old material.

Even from the opening chugs of 'Xaoc' it's clear that Rotten Remains is a step forward from what the band first layed down all those years ago. The brutarian stomp that has come to define the band is on full display. Yet - they also eagerly embrace flashy solos, as they do on album closer, 'wRRong Song' and seem to have really tightened up their songwriting across the board. These are snappy metal anthems that allow you to dive into the pit, get your head crushed in and then step out. Toss in a few touches of Central Asian music (I love the jaw harp on The Grudge) and you have yourself a party! Almaty may not exactly be a hub for metal but Zarraza don't let it limit them, showing that they can put out material that is as hard hitting and meaningful as their western contemporaries.

One thing that really strikes me is how far this band has come in terms of production value. Frequently metal bands from Central Asia suffer from poor production due to a general lack of studios and expensive gear. Zarraza have clearly made an effort to go above and beyond here to craft a record that captures every stop/start riff and which can turn on a dime. Rotten Remains is a thoroughly exciting listen that steps up the intensity from these Kazakh metal warriors who simply refuse to take your shit.

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