Band Name: Zardens
Album Name: Blackness Unfolds
Distributor/Label: Satanath Records
Distributor/Label URL: Satanath Records
Buy Album: Satanath Records
Band Website: Zardens Homepage
1. Battle Rite
2. The Berserker
5. Slave To The Moon
6. Empty Skies
8. Days Of Doom
9. Among The Dead
Mainland Europe is always partial to a little bit of genre-melding. Before the Swedes perfected the art, melodic death metal wasn’t a thing and neither was blackened death metal. So Belgium’s ZARDENS continue the tradition and meld an icy blackened death metal with thrash riffs; producing their sophomore “Blackness Unfolds”.
It’s a raucous affair: plenty of tremolo riffs to be had, but there’s also some beefy thrashers in there along with a stellar drum performance and intricate bass lines – see “Afterlife” for evidence on the latter. “The Berserker” opens in brutally thrashy fashion, as does “Lifeblood”, whilst “Slave To The Moon” transits from thrash to colder atmospheres (with a ripping guitar lead towards the end), and back again.
So far so good. It does however suffer from a lack of dynamism. Whilst the production is fine, it just doesn’t breathe – the intensity is all well and good, but it starts to become homogenised and flat. Intensity is great and effective in metal (as we all know), but to feel and appreciate the impact, there needs to be contrast.
Despite this, ZARDENS can be satisfied in the knowledge of their sophomore being solid, dependable blackened thrash. Those wanting to be bludgeoned relentlessly and without remorse would be suitably pleased with the effects they’d experience after listening to “Blackness Unfolds”.