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Total fucking war! - 98%

mutiilator, August 7th, 2004

Zyklon-B was an early collaboration between some of Norway's Black Metal founding fathers. And although the band became blinged out when they went straight downhill with Zyklon (and latter Emperor & Satyricon), the early works are hailed and honored by many black metal fans.

1994 and 1995 were years of change within the black metal scene. Euronymous was dead, and Varg was in prison. Many bands began to emerge, and black metal began to stray from it's death metal roots. With this grimly painted scenario, Frost, Samoth, Ihsahn and Aldrahn joined up to spawn one of the best black metal EPs to ever be released.

"Mental Orgasm" wastes no time, and starts things off with blasting drums, fast tremolo riffing, and Aldrahn's trademark yells. The tightness of the band is very prominent. Frost and Samoth are both very talented musicians, and perhaps that is what makes this release stand out - especially since it could easily be mistaken for Dodheimsgard material. "Bloodsoil" keeps the pace consistent, but Aldrahn's yells have been replaced with more of a growl. Samoth's guitar work is still excellent and crucial to the success of this EP. Ihsahn's contribution is much more prevelent on this track, and if you listen closely, you can hear some atmospheric synths not unlike everything he's done on early Emperor works. The release would still stand on its own without the keyboards, but they don't really ruin the music, so it's not a huge deal. Lastly, "Warfare" keep it fast and brutal. The synth is even more present now, but still not overdone. There is a nice solo part way through with, followed by a slow section with a sample. This is probably the best song on the record, and has a lot of good melody, while changing up the pace a bit more than on the 2 preceeding tracks.

There are a lot of instrumental sections to the songs, which is a good thing, because, as good as Dodheimsgard were, Aldrahn's vocals can get annoying after a while. This release marks some of Samoth's best work, in my opinion, and Frost's drumming is fast as hell and flat-out excellent, but is nothing new for him. Ihsahn's contribution here was minimal, and shouldn't even really be considered a real member of the band.

To finish it all of is one of the best samples i've ever heard in a song: "War is good, AIDS is good, mass murder is good, gang violence is good, crack cocaine is good. Anything that contributes to depopulating Earth is good." This sums up the themes of the music, as compared to those of early Satyricon and Emperor.

This is one of the best classic pieces to come out of Norway, and by the look of it, it seems to be overlooked by many, though this should definitely be remedied.