Zonaria (Sweden): Arrival of the Red Sun (Listenable Records)
Of the ten songs on here, how many are so memorable that you need one listen only?
Well, let’s start with one song that could make them stars: “Liberation Zero.” The uptempo energy and opening hooks are like crazy-glue in music form. The combination of sugary guitar work, with thrashy riffing, and the melodic-thrashy growl metal results in an instant hit.
The three openers grab the listener’s attention quickly: “Arrival of the Red Sun,” “Silent Holocaust,” and “Gunpoint Salvation.” These three will make even a reluctant listener nod along. Zonaria rolls up melody, energy, blasting, thrashing and growling into a compact package.
In reality, it turns out that only “The Blood that Must Be Paid” and “Face My Vengeance” are midtempo songs, a bit slower, ones that will sound better live than on the recording, perhaps. The band’s strengths are in their fast and faster material, in my opinion.
Given that Zonaria has good and very good songs, something becomes clear: Zonaria makes an impression quickly. While it may be true that Zonaria has some fundamental elements of Hypocrisy and Amon Amarth—the gruff vocals, the mix of heavy rhythms, in conjunction with melodic hooks—Zonaria plays at a faster speed, and has more sweeter hooks.
To end, Zonaria is something a downtuned modern thrash band with growled vocals and a constant dose of background/symphonic effects/melodies. They sound like a band that utilizes the latest technology to record their music, so that the album is very ear-friendly. The drumming sounds fast/uptempo, but it is soft (like a drum machine), like a lot of metal with the hi-tech sound, not just Zonaria. I would prefer a drum sound that sounds like the drummer is hitting harder, on a more solid surface.
The description of Zonaria as “the saviors of melodic death metal” is floating around. Whatever. Decide for yourself, but do at least check them out because the material is undoubtedly well-written. www.zonaria.com