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Holy fucking synths, Batman! - 68%

Aetheraeon, October 4th, 2007

Zonaria is a Swedish melodic death metal band founded in 2002 by two fifteen-year-old guys, but despite it being an incredibly young band, their debut album “Infamy and the Breed” shows that they definitely have talent within the band and a bright future ahead of them. If I had been told that this band had released multiple full lengths before “Infamy and the Breed”, I would not have doubted that.

The album features proficient guitar playing and some pretty interesting ideas here and there. There is a lot of focus on melody and a sense of emotion in the songs, but even in the slower and softer portions of songs, Zonaria manages to make everything sound powerful and convincing. Every instrument sounds crisp and the production is very clear, which makes works well for an album like this. Aggression and velocity are present in decent quantities and along with some very hard-hitting heavy drumming, it brings the album to a tight whole. Vocals are slightly higher pitched and the additional clean vocals by Christian Älvestam (of Scar Symmetry fame) are a nice touch, making the songs ‘The Armageddon Anthem’ and ‘Attending Annihilation’ stand out from the rest of the album.

My main gripe with this album is the excessive use of synths. The synths are everywhere and at times they can get rather annoying. Synths are fine if they are used in moderation, but if they are not they can get rather tacky and that is what happens here on some occasions. Admittedly, the use of synths is done well in a couple of songs, though in most of them they are far too up-front and apparent, making them a distracting factor in the songs rather than adding something to the overall value.

Though I would hardly call them the “Swedish death metal’s saviours” as they are hailed on their label’s website, Zonaria deserves attention and their debut album will definitely please a decent crowd. If you like melodic death with synths, then definitely give this band a shot.

Originally written for http://www.gothtronic.com/