|1. Angel's Hatred||06:24|
|2. Wrath of the God||06:27|
|5. Book of Revelation||07:08|
|6. The Prophecy||01:20|
|8. Son of the Morning||09:08|
|Total playing time||43:49|
Chronique @ heavymetaltribune
tendency for listeners to end up drifting away
The album opens with Angel's Hatred, 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 PrimalOne 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.
Chronique @ GandhiEgo
An original take on classical True Black Metal
Production value is rather good given it’s a one-man band project. Vocals, guitars and keys (which bring nice atmospheres notably on the eponymous track) are on par with more modern bands and you shouldn’t expect something ultra-raw a la Beherit but something a bit more polished. Drums are programmed and though PrimalOne did a good job on opening track "Wrath of the God" making me almost doubt it was programmed, there are still a few fuckups here and there and most notably on “Book of Revelation” or was it intended to sound original? Maybe so, because “original” might well be the leitmotiv of Deathzone most notably thanks to the guitars.
Liner notes tell us that everything was under PrimalOne’s control, inclusive of the minimal b&w artwork, except for guitar solos which were recorded by Markiz. And this is where it gets original. Where Primal’s music ranges from True Black Metal to more personal bleak vistas played with more or less talent and reminiscent of other bands like Bethlehem, the addition of a separate lead guitar player gives a peculiar vibe to Deathzone. It does seem that Markiz is more the kind of Heavy Metal lead guitarist, or maybe is it Thrash Metal, with an emphasis on velocity and melody not far from Testament’s Skolnick’s play.
On the first listens, this singular lead guitar play combined with a more common brand of Black Metal sounds most often very odd and out of place. It’s almost as if Markiz wrote his leads not knowing which music they’d be used with. You may even think the combination of those elements as amateurish but somehow with a few more plays this strange association begins to work its way through your mind. It does make those songs original and with a good use of atmospheric keys, the results are far better than what it may look like here on paper.
I’m not sure where Primal is heading at the moment and how PrimalOne wants to develop his sound in the near future but his first offering, while not being a masterpiece, shows promises for something interesting and worth following. I can’t tell if Primal will turn into the next Negative Plane or remain entangled with its demons but there’s some untapped potential here.