Zetar, a Black/Death Metal band hailing from Texas will soon reveal their debut full length album, ‘Devouring Darkness’ via Spirit Coffin Publishing on October 15th, 2021. Right away, I will say, this is definitely an album I’ll put in my memorable releases for 2021. Zetar is a band that extracts the elements from science fiction mediums and processes the DNA towards their image and sound, the result? Completely organic and definitely rewarding….but how is the actual album? Let’s find out!
Firstly the production emitted from ‘Devouring Darkness’ brings with it a cosmic yet ethereal aura, this is achieved by the raw-like approach utilized on the recording of the instruments. Since the foundation of the musical structures are based upon a sci-fi atmosphere, the production would be the spirit that occupies this vessel and directs its path, and this can go either ways depending on the method integrated into the mix. In Zetar’s scenario, the chosen mix fosters an almost live-like ambience, where one can feel the presence of each eerie note flowing around them, even though this can be fulfilled with a much ‘cleaner’ production, the visceral nature of the percussion, keys and strings expel an organic-like appearance creating a world that feels almost tangible, for example, on certain tracks, like ‘Devouring Darkness’ and ‘Orbital Decay’, both which are ambient/instrumental tracks demonstrate and exude the feeling as though you are in unknown barren land where the topography is alien towards human eyes, the architecture that surrounds and the sky that frames you all seem unusual, like an H.R Giger painting brought to life.
The instrumental side of ‘Devouring Darkness’ can be described as a celestial being possessing multiple arms, each appendage serving a different purpose , however they all work in unison to serve the singular body. The drums discharge a ceremonial tone to it, as though the flesh of an animal was cured and stretched tightly over the drum heads to produce that primitive yet ‘booming’ sound that echoes with every beat, especially with the kick drum that gives the vibe that a great creature is being summoned forth. The track, ‘Return to Talos IV’ exemplifies this where the drums resonates a thick thumping tone throughout the song as well as on ‘Lights of Zetar’ where the snare is coupled with the kick drum ( and the cymbals). The guitars discharge a metallic yet occult like tone to it that coats the space like atmosphere with a necromantic feeling with the frenetic picking that is employed, ‘Demons of Darkness and Air’ is a track which showcases this description, as the progression of chords exude a an ambient aura that gradually splinters into a chaotic one.
The vocals that are spewed forth breathes an image of a blind prophet who’s blind eyes seem to contain a cluster of stars as he preaches about a great beast not from beneath the earth but one who has traveled amongst the cosmos. As the words are expelled from a tongue that is heavy of warning, the delivery of the verses are coated in rather sinister yet serpent like skin, which slithers into the musical aspects and conforms to the undulating shape of the emotions excreted from each song. ‘Landru’ illustrates this sentiment as the vox brings together all the astral elements and becomes the mind which controls all the arms to work unanimously.
Overall, this is an excellent debut, the most important highlight of this album is that the intricate playing, wherever used throughout the tracks, it never feels mechanical or manufactured for the sake of making a splatter of progressive chords. Instead the technicality oozes naturally from the atmosphere that is crafted, even the ambient notes used fill in the gaps where necessary in order to create a discordant experience for the listener. This is a band I would definitely recommend for everyone to keep on their radar. To Zetar, I wish you all the best in your future releases! Hails! (Justin Joseph)