Zephyra – ‘Fall, Rise, Conquer’   Leave a comment

Released on April 17th, 2019, ‘Fall, Rise, Conquer’, from Sweden’s Zephyra is available to buy on all digital platforms. ‘FRC’ is their 3rd album, recorded and produced by Mikael Anderson, at SOUNDPORT, mixed and mastered by Christian Donaldson and the cover art’s by Make North. A quartet from Sweden’s Boras region, Zephyra are a metal band, mainly based on thrash and melo-death, but utilising many strands of metal.

Forming in 2011, their background consists of gigs throughout Sweden and Europe, live radio sets and global airplay. So far, they’ve also played support for The Agonist and The Raven Age.

Their 1st album, ‘Mental Absolution’ launched in 2014, by Wormhole Death Records. The next one, ‘As The World Collapses’, was launched on Inverse Records, in 2016 (mixed and mastered by Christian Donaldson, at The Grid, Montréal, Canada. This was when their sound and technique started to grow.

September 2017 saw Zephyra make a new track, ‘The Darkest Black’, on Inverse Records again, connecting their 2nd album with the creation of the 3rd.

Since March 1st, 2019, Zephyra has been touring, to promote the 3rd album, ‘Fall, Rise, Conquer’. They’ve become known for their stage presence and professional delivery.

Dreams Denied – Very unique intro there, opening with synths/keyboards, before exploding into metallic life. Powerful feminine vocals, surprisingly deathy, in places. Great heavy melody, well delivered, with a vocal edge to match any male vocalist. Keeping an impressive momentum, with a darkened feel throughout, the atmosphere’s just right. Generally, well balanced and very rhythmic.

Fange i Frihet – Drums intro now, beating a path to a wilderness forest in your mind. It’s highly visual and extremely competently handled. A good blend of melody, dark lyrics and atmospheric accompaniments. Slightly shorter track, but definitely no less powerful.

Waiting For Nothing – Opening on an electronic section, soon getting into an arresting vocal, evocative of the likes of Nightwish, Within Temptation and Lacuna Coil. Even replicating Arch Enemy’s vocal ways, at times. Really easy to get involved with, there’s a big catch to this. A real battery of instrumental force. Fading out onto another electronic section, surprisingly apt for the track.

Nothing Else Matters – Crackling forest fire intro’s this instantly mesmerically beautiful Metallica tribute). A refreshingly vivid portrayal and dare I say it? They’ve well and truly pulled off what I’d ordinarily class as the impossible. Spine-tingling. Nothing more to say.

Paper Crown – A hauntingly melodic sense of déjà vu intro’s, moving seamlessly into a Delain-esque sound, interspersed with more Arch Enemy echoes. It’s a very big sound, filled with visual imagery and stagecraft of high theatrical calibre. This would make a very fitting Halloween track, but would be equally at home as a fantasy film soundtrack. Immersive and enchanting.

After The Meltdown – Mysterious percussive opening, setting the scene for another vision fest. She reaches down to the depths of her diaphragm, for those notes, flitting easily between blackened and softer sections and always keeping that melody uppermost. Stunning power emanates from those vocals, more than ably assisted by the strong accompaniments. Hitting a sharp, yet thudding conclusion, it ends on a clear, assertive outro.

Svart Smarta – Highly electronic intro here, unexpected within metal, yet it leads really well into a notably strong, blackened metal section. Again, it screams power, with more of an industrial, techno sound, this time. It does all gel well, though. A gorgeous guitar riff breaks up the darkness, bridging the earlier and latter sections, adding the chink of light it needs to blast it further into the stratosphere. The rhythm’s always central and a brief spoken section forms the outro.

A Letter For You – Now the tone drops, to match the more intense lyrics. Still, it’s beautiful, though and the melody hits you. Artistically timed, there’s a slightly more relaxed sense to this. Especially prevalent in the chorus, on which, it ends. Just another very beautiful track.

My Pain – Organ intro, albeit very brief, segueing immediately into a thunderously heavy sound. Very satisfying, the quality’s stunning. It’s a much briefer track, but it’s strength certainly makes a statement. It’s almost like a stamp of recognition.

Man Chooses, Slaves Obey – Opening quietly, on an acoustic riff and a slight ticker-tape like background echo, bringing in a twin guitar, creating a beguiling effect. Instantly, the blackened vocals enter. Becoming melodic once more and taking the tone up, soaring with the heightened mood. Again, the vocals play with an interplay of darkness and light. Growing catchier, leading into a sinister riff, matching the prophetic lyrics. A very involved track, with a good mix of techniques and styles. Getting heavier, towards the end, before returning to the poignantly quiescent thread again. Quite magical.

Overall – ‘Fall, Rise, Conquer’ does just what its title says. It’s an astonishingly adept and beautiful album, filled with the audio equivalent of a visual light show, of conceptual brilliance and outstanding artistry. If this is the future of metal, then it’s heading in the right direction. Spectacular.

10/10 **********

For fans of Nightwish, Within Temptation, Delain, Lacuna Coil, Arch Enemy, Aonia, Liholesie, Shahyd Legacy.


Merch Store – http://zephyramerch.qbutik.se/

Posted April 28, 2019 by jennytate in Uncategorized

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