Zonaria - Infamy and the Breed

1. Infamy
2. The Last Endeavour
3. Pandemic Assault
4. The Armageddon Anthem
5. Rendered in Vain
6. Image of Myself
7. Evolution Overdose
8. Attending Annihilation
9. Descend into Chaos
10. Ravage the Breed
11. The Black Omen
12. Everything is Wasteland

Simon Berglund (V & G)
Emil Nyström (G)
Jerry Ekman (B)
Emanuel Isaksson (D)

Rendered in Vain (EP 2006)

Recording info:
Per Nilsson & Dingle Berry (recording)
Jonas Kjellgren (rec, mix & master)
Seth (art)
E2Media (cov layout)
Jens Rydén (logo)
Jasmine Kiwiniemi (photo)

Christian Älvestram (V)
Per Nilsson (Ac G)

pivotal rockordings

The debut from Swedish Zonaria isn’t bad at all. 11 songs and one intro track in a pretty rough melodic death metal kinda way that belongs to the heavier in the genre. It’s riff built, relatively technical death with some influences from outside and not totally made to be heavy and hard – even though that’s what obviously have the highest priority. Even though it’s Swedish, they chose to go on the Finish school of melodic death and not the Gothenburgish –meaning roaring guitars and straight on the spot instead of the tact- and tempo changing, harmony based one. It works, absolutely – it’s far from bad but also a pretty long way from perfect.

Right in the middle comes a song totally sticking out from the rest – what is this? A keyboard intro? It feels like a good-bad move, if you follow me? The song is different from the rest, it leaves a mark, it makes the album grow – but in the same time it’s nothing special, the melody is odd and when it comes, giving you that “whaaaaaaat?” impression and starting that process of reflection over the album, well, then at least I feel that something was wrong. The song is dull, the song is dreary, the song is nothing special, the song is weird… the song is number six, Image of Myself.

Otherwise then? Most songs are good or better. Any real “sham songs” don’t exist, if not perhaps the already mentioned one – that admittedly is a sham but with some proving chances, and perhaps the last song that becomes a little bit of transportation to the end. On the credit list, there’s of course Attending Annihilation, which with it’s Scar Symmetry-clear vocals-guest appearance makes the song awesome! It gives it an entirely new dimension than that half hearted growling-singing from vocalist Simon Berglund. The vocals are a minus, it’s too dark, too unharmonious and doesn’t work perfectly good in the music. It needs those clear vocals to even it out, that puts the cream on and strengthen it. Now, I confess that I’m a sucker for music like the one from Soilwork, Scar Symmetry and the new In Flames – where that never ending screaming isn’t present throughout the entire album and the entire songs, so maybe I’m not the right man to judge. But in my eyes, Simon doesn’t have the voice to handle all that screaming alone throughout the entire album.

Musically it’s better – except some peculiar passages in some of the albums’ later songs it’s consistently well accompaniment. It mixes wild fury and an extreme tempo with big changes in the tempo, sometimes to an noticeable slower and softer one – parts we’re talking of now, no entire songs in an Angels don’t kill (Children of Bodom) tempo, but here and there they appear in bits and pieces and this variation is a welcome ingredient. So is also the fact that it’s not lead virtuositation with the guitars all the time. It’s good that they only use it when necessary, if you can say it’s necessary at all … I guess that’s a matter of opinion. But they put it where it’s suitable, then.

Production and sound is fully acceptable. Nothing you get annoyed at, nothing to wonder at. Lyrics and other attitudes delivered through the album I don’t care about, I leave it to someone that do.
A good album. Not a divine performance, but stable on approved, yet with a golden star. Biggest minus comes from the singing, biggest plus for most of the other. All hail hypno toad!

officiell websida

Label: Pivotal Rockordings
Three similar bands: Children of Bodom/Kalmah/Impaled Nazarene
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm