Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Znafelriff - Ruin

The best way to enjoy whiskey is neat, because you aren’t dulling the flavor or watering it down. So if you take your black metal the same way, then Znafelriff’s Ruin EP is a nice stripped down and pure style of black metal that doesn’t have the all too familiar raw-production burning taste. Spackled with killer tempo changes and heavily relying on expressive raspy vocals, it’s a breath of fresh air how the band switches things up while still adhering to quite conservative approach to the genre.

Efficient composition goes a long way. Many of the melodies have guitars playing low notes for two beats, followed by higher notes with some interesting snare hits to complete the measure (e.g. “Heisere Stille” and “Ruin.”) It’s a nice feel because even really straightforward riffs get a sense of martial momentum. More importantly, this rhythmic interplay is an obvious sign of how well integrated the band is. Simple riffs become compelling because of the rhythm, simple blast beats become interesting with addition of coherent but dynamic vocals with a relatively light touch of reverb.

Not that I could tell from just the music, but the band apparently has a sense of humor about black metal. You’ve got to imagine that this played a role in keeping the project’s music interesting because the EP really follows in the footsteps of a lot of raw black metal bands without devolving into a bunch of dry monotony. Still, this isn’t the kind of music where you should expect catchy hooks or even a showy riff. It works well enough for the EP, which clocks in at around twenty-one minutes. It’s nothing groundbreaking or exceptional, but the EP is easily strong enough to merit listening to whatever Znafelriff may offer in the future.

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