Islandic music is alway interesting, somehow different from the rest of the world. Just take a look on the best know act Bjørk or the more known Sólstafir or Sigur Rós. But even when it comes to more extreme music, especially black metal, Island is still a great source for special sounds. Just think about Svartidauði, Naðra or Misþyrming. So it’s not a suprise that there is some interesting new act in death metal as well.
Well, ZHRINE are not a traditional death metal band. With Nökkvi from Svartidauði on guitars and some vocal duties, it is just logical that there are some influences from black metal as well. But the band takes it one step further, reaches for inspiration in great Australian bands: Ulcerate, Portal, Beyond Terror, Beyond Grace and maybe a little bit Departe.
On their first full-length “Unortheta” are many different aspects of (post-)modern extreme music blended into a brilliant mixture. There are moments of post-rock, bringing some hope, wide atmospheric carpets of sounds. But suddenly the songs might burst into minimalistic and nightmarish dissonance. Simplified riffing creates some catchy passages, just to confuse the audience with really challenging structures. You can never be sure which turn a song will take next. But thoses changes in tempo and dynamics never destroy the really dense atmosphere, gloomy, dissonant and baneful.
Beside of a great mixture of post-rock guitar walls, grinding blastbeats, pushing grooves and intense atmosphere, ZHRINE manage to blend further ingredients into their sound, establishing a very own style. The vocals between hatefull deep growls and agressive high pitched screams open up the songs. There are many passages of sound collages, creating some ambient vibe to combine some parts of a songs and each track to another. Sometimes other instruments are mixed into the sound. Different types of percussion and even some contrabass. Which leads to the great bass lines in some other passages.
Those experimental moments are blended into the overall sound of “Unortheta” in such a brilliant way that those never sound inappropriate. ZHRINE establish an intelligent approach on dark and extreme music beyond old fashioned ways. No wonder they already supported Ulcerate on their last tour.
“Unortheta” will be as important for the development of the young genre “post-death metal” as “The Destroyers Of All” or “Failure, Subside” will be. So keep an eye on this young band and listen to the stream on bandcamp. There is no filler on this album, only quality music with great ideas and phantastic atmosphere.