Review: Zaratus “In The Days Of Whore” [Ván Records]

Review: Zaratus “In The Days Of Whore” [Ván Records]

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The experimental black metal scene this year can heave a sigh of release, the new Grecian band Zaratus has worked hard, presenting this blend of modern and classical kind of black metal in the debut album “In the Days of Whore” with the help of Ván Records.

Zaratus consists only of two members, known from such bands as Katavasia or Thou Art Lord – multi-instrumentalist Bill El and singer and lyricist Stefan Necroabyssious. With an intense teaser EP “The Descent” a couple of years ago, they’ve started to build a significant reputation on the extreme metal scene, stepping forward the clichés and boundaries of this conservative genre. So, within the blackish reality of atmospheric coldness (a là Summoning), avant-garde disharmony (a là Mayhem), symphonic solemness (a là Limbonic Art) and eastern and oriental finesse (a là Rotting Christ) Zaratus has managed to create something truly unique, combining the best from black metal.

There are no similar compositions or the boring repetitions, every song is unique and well-considered, even the purest black metal signs possess the spirit of exceptionality. The smooth and even “Heritage of Fire” is the closest to classical black metal conception with heavy metal-based rhythm and powerful chorus, almost devoid of atmospheric influence, created by synths. The jazzy and oriental oddities slip through the first track “Ceremonies before Light’s Existence” and the last “Zoroastrian Priests”, making them dissonantly formidable. But “Chaos and Blood” is insinuating on melodic death metal touch and with some dreamy keyboards and acoustic parts it is the most romantic song on this brutal album. The medieval aura (“In the Days of Whore”), the choirs (“Darkness and Decay”) and the sound of pipe organ (The Haunted Palace) diversify the multifaceted nature of this music. Atmospheric strictness and symphonic epicness bathes everything in solid confidence, reshaping and recoloring the songs with their own tenacity.

Every bit of structural and technical precision is smoothing away all the dramatic mood changes, and with a majestic creepiness, created by omnipresent synthesizers, the depth of the core of the songs overwhelms with emotions and a sense of anxiety. And the richness of emotionality due to the singer’s experimental expression really astounds with a fancy imagination and eloquence, despite the fact, that Stefan most of the time screams in recitative form. But the power of his eerie whispers and heartbreaking shrieks radiates total desperation. Everything is mixed here – the sound of violin and occult cries, the primitive guitar riffs and the complicated solos, the festive mood and naked brutality, but in such a harmonious way, that this album really sounds amazingly integral.

The biblical and mythological themes mixed with primordial mysteries, and the line between the darkness and light are also represented on detailed realistic cover art, making this creation of Zaratus more down-to-earth. And within stylistic framework of black metal and their avant-garde mindset, Zaratus made a very remarkable debut.

Release date: March 5, 2021

https://www.facebook.com/zaratusblackmetal/

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