Zeit – ‘Konvergenz’

Introducing ‘Konvergenz’, the debut album from German black sludge metallers Zeit. Formed in 2010, utilising elements of sludge and doom, their music always aims to return to black metal. Beginning as a two-piece band, aspiring to a unique black metal sound, incorporating sounds from outside of that genre, their previous musical themes have included urban solitude, resulting in a 2013 demo. By the close of that year, the bassist had joined the band, completing the line-up and 2015 saw them launch their second EP, ‘Trummer’, (debris). Various influences have been used, from the interests of the entire band and consequently, a broader approach has been taken to the expressive styles and creativity within their music. Towards the end of 2015, Zeit launched the last part of their Wintersturm EP trilogy. New material was then produced for ‘Konvergenz’. Recorded and mixed in Leipzig and mastered in Hamburg, ‘Konvergenz’ brings things full circle, stylistically and creatively.

Velzerrt – Surprisingly beautiful relaxed intro, for the briefest of moments, before launching into the fiery hell fest that characterises their sound instantly. Combined with the stand-out, nail-swallowing vocals, it’s a stunningly powerful sound. Imagine Brian Johnson, with glass in his throat and combine that with an instrumental battle (sound) and you’re there.

Rand – Opening with a not often used rhythmic percussion solo, moving with fluid ease from there, into full on rhythm section, accompanying the razor blade vocals, it’s immediately obvious how accomplished these guys are. They need no help in carrying off their confident, smoothly delivered performance. There’s something undeniably consummate about these guys, increasing their listenability and ultimately, their professional approach to their songs.

Nichts – Booming, solid intro, heavy as lead and hard as nails. Clearly a purposeful emphasis on rhythm and pace here, with a strong beat element and almost tribal feel overlaying it. The sound of this track will almost certainly appeal to fans of Viking metal, yet also to those of a more melodic inclination, since the combined influences are audible, becoming more so throughout. Real skill and patience has been invested in the structure and arrangements and the audible outcome’s impressive, to say the least.

Trub/Trueb – Laying down a palpably dark, heavy bass line, at the outset, this holds a particularly blackened sound. Unexpectedly, though, it moves, intermittently, away from the blackness, injecting a lighter section, so subtle, it’s almost hidden. It soon becomes apparent, though, that it’s the darkness which holds the greatest interest and focus here. There’s a competence of touch, throughout, creating faultless performances and a refusal to be complacent.

Weiter – Straight in there, as if there’s been no beginning, in the most practised way, indicative of absolute solidified craftsmanship. Again, you’ll hear that Viking element, creating such visionary insight, that the imagery alone is almost enough. Ending on an unarguable heaviness, there’s just no room for doubt or uncertainty here.

Kalt – Mega riff intro, melodic and all-powerful. Soon accompanied by more gravel- encrusted vocal gymnastics, upping the pace, to a catchier tempo, it screams and rages black extremity, specifying it in the edgiest way.

Unten – Opening again, with a groovier, more melodic slant, moving seamlessly and easily, to melody, without ever losing the heaviness. Tribal drum rolls, head-banging mosh pit territory and glass shredded vocals, one thing this doesn’t do is compromise – on heaviness, darkness, speed, or any other factor, for that matter. Hard as hell, but still catchy enough to be enjoyable.

Latenz – Unusually, for a black metal offering, the intro carries a distinct Foo Fighters-esque sound/thread, which, deliberate or not, reminds me noticeably, of ‘Long Road To Ruin’, in itself, throwing in a fun, involving thread, hard to criticise. It’s possibly closing track syndrome, compelling them to end on a lighter note, but either way, it works.

Overall – An uncompromising, eye-opening zinger of an album, complete with experimental variations and bold sweeps of imagination.

8/10 ********

For fans of Viking and Pirate metal, black, death and melo-death, melodic and thrash metal.

Released June 2nd, 2017.

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