• Zindan - Depth (2010) - Positive effects of the metal globalization - 81% (07/02/13)

    Zindan - Depth (2010)

     

    Metal music has beecome a global phenomenon over the last years that I've followed very closely and that's why I wasn't surprised to hear of a band hailing from Tashkent, Uzbekistan. What really impressed me though is the mostly high song writing quality, the solid production and the surprisingly professional musicianship of this debut record of the progressive extreme metal band Zindan. The record is called "Depth" and that's what the band indeed displays: diversified and well arranged songs that mix anything from psychedelic moments over slightly oriental folk elements up to great death and thrash metal parts.

    A track like "Facing One Another" is a perfect example of this mixture of genres. I immediately liked the track but it will maybe take several spins for other metal fans to get into this complex and slightly chaotic track. Chilling folk moments and relaxing psychedelic chants one one side meet funky bass parts and fast extreme metal eruptions on the other side. "In the Depth of Zindan" is another highlight that taps the same vein but it is almost twice as long. The song has great progressive elements but also heavy doom metal influenced parts that make this song the most atmospheric one on the entire disc. The closing epic "Kings" is also quite demanding but less efficient as it has a few lengths and features an odd finish including a pointless drum solo and unnecessary studio dialogues as some sort of a hidden track. Without these overlong and silly parts, the track would have been a good seven or eight minute long epic but the way it is the record ends on a rather low note.

    These very challenging songs are interrupted by shorter songs as the outstanding and vivid folk track "Chinvat" that has a very hypnotizing and slightly menacing atmopshere. The band can though also focus on even calmer and more minimalist tracks. Let's cite the great ballad "Life Without Aim" that makes me think of a Metallica ballad in the key of a "Nothing Else Matters". Calm breaks and beautiful guitar solos make this song stand out even if the whole thing could have been shortened by two minutes or so in my humble opinion. The vocals sound grounded and still emotional in this song that could also please to a larger audience outside the metal community. It's the same thing for the opening "In Haze" that sounds quite modern and mixes extreme metal vocals with cleaner parts. Without exactly being contemporary metalcore, this track has a structure that could please a lot of fans of that genre.

    In the end, this band from Central Asia definitely has a lot of talent and plays some excellent progressive extreme metal. The calmer tracks as well as the folk driven moments are welcome changes and well executed as well. The band should only focus on a more coherent and compact song writing next time to get even better as some songs simply include too many ideas or get a little bit redundant after a while. Despite these small flaws of the debut record, this album is highly recommandable for any progressive and extreme metal fan. I can't wait to hear more of this talented band and am once again psoitively surprised by the absolutely positive elements of the globalization of metal music.

     

    « 复活 / Resurrection - 国殇 / National Martyr (2006) - Great epics and convincing bonus tracks - 71% (07/02/13)Stratovarius - Nemesis (2013) - European power metal is not dead! - 96% (08/02/13) »
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