A chance encounter with this Polish, one-man black metal project, Primal
, on the 3-way split with fellow Poles Iugulatus and Deep Desolation
left me slightly disappointed, for Poland has been a region which has consistently released influential and classic metal albums. Deathzone
here then, is Primal
's debut full length album, released on the same year as that aforementioned split and seeing the moments of brilliance littered throughout their contribution on the split gave me a tinge of hope for this release.
The album opens with Angel
, and shortly after that atmospheric keyboard intro, the band goes into their blazing fast mode and the ferocity with which the music is executed with somehow reminds listeners of a less polished version of bands like Watain
. This moment of excellence is unfortunately short-lived as the music starts sounding messy, with the drums going at breakneck speed while the guitars sound as if it were struggling to keep up, resulting in the riffs sounding almost disjointed from the rest of the instruments, leaving the listeners confused, and this goes on for the most part of the album. Moments such as the transition between slower and faster sections like those on Wrath of the God
also appear suddenly with no warning at all, and often end up sounding awkward, displaying some of the weaknesses in the band's songwriting style and song structures. While compliments definitely have to be given for band mastermind Primal
One for handling all the instruments of the album, the execution of the drums at times is inconsistent, and the album would have benefitted if these were handled by a dedicated drummer instead.
However, there are certain moments on the album where the band manages to salvage the situation. One aspect that surprised me and kept me engaged throughout is the heavy atmosphere that the band has managed to conjure and maintain throughout the album, whether it is through the usage of the keys or through the heavy and dense tone of the guitars. There are also some sections where the lead guitar provides a haunting melody to the music, reinforcing the atmosphere and moodiness of the album. The bleak sounding riffs on songs like Wrath of the God
also reminds listeners of bands like Satanic Warmaster
. The title track Deathzone
also makes clever use of keyboards to create a melancholic mood in the music, and this is certainly one of the few enjoyable moments of the album
That said though, despite the small moments of ingenuity littered here and there, overall Deathzone
has been a rather disappointing album. The long running times of most of the tracks definitely doesn't help, for most of the tracks drag on unnecessarily long, with the tendency for listeners to end up drifting away instead of listening to the album and waiting for surprises to spring up.