Zørza - Official Website


Hellven

Poland Country of Origin: Poland

1. Western Forest Rites
2. Night Of The Werewolf
3. Death II
4. Lunacy Of Memories
5. The Crown With Silver Thorns
6. Zørza II
7. Danse Macabre
8. Under The Reign Of Black Moon
9. Journey To The End (Windir Cover)



Review by Michael on July 4, 2024.

Sometimes YouTube is a pretty helpful tool when it comes to discovering new bands. Lately this has happened to two bands I didn't have my black metal radar on. The first one I’d like to introduce to you here is Polish Zørza, which according to all-knowing Metal Archives, is a so-called post-black metal band. Fortunately I haven't read this categorization before listening to the album, otherwise I guess I wouldn't have checked them out because I really HATE this genre.

Fortunately I don’t really consider this kind of music as post-anything. What Zørza performs on their debut album Hellven is some quite orthodox black metal with a lot of tremolo-picking, blast beats and hellish screams, wrapped into some modern sound. Maybe you could describe it as a mixture between Polish, Dutch, French and Scandinavian black metal – maybe the term European black metal must be invented for it. Nevertheless the music is highly melodic and absolutely comprehendible. Not that you could foresee the next step they are going to do but this all makes sense and matches together very well. But apart from this slight desperate and hateful fundamental tone there is also a vulnerable aspect in the music. Just check the first “real” song (I don't count the intro ‘Western Forest Rites’ as real song in this case) ‘Night Of The Werewolf’ up to the end where you will find some soft piano tunes quite similar to what Rammstein did in “Deutschland” (which is one of not too many tracks by them I really love – song and video). This is a fantastic example to show how close hate and sadness often are next to each other and maybe also are the reason for each other. ‘Lunacy Of Memories’ brings on some more Scandinavian black metal influences and kicks ass with its fast pace. But again, there are some breaks that show some kind of fragility and thoughtfulness. This song reminds me literally of a lunatic who stabs down his victim but in some light moments reflects his doing and continues after some seconds to do his bloody work.

‘The Crown With Silver Thorns’ has a very repetitive beginning and starts (matching perfectly to the title) very epic and turns into a thunderstorm of brutal riffs in its progress. But again, also here the aggressive atmosphere is lightened up with some acoustic tunes – hm…when I look out of my window right now, the weather is comparable. It was raining cats and dogs three minutes ago and now I see the sun shining. With ‘Danse Macabre’ you can find a five minute long instrumental song on Hellven, too which doesn't get too monotone though because of the variety. Quite often instrumentals aren't very innovative and entertaining but in this case it is okay. I mean, this one does not show any news compared to the previous songs but it also doesn't disappoint. Closing their own compositions with 'Under The Reign Of The Black Moon' (title of the month!) they have another traditional black metal song with a ferocious pace and harsh vocals and I guess they have saved the best song up to the end. This one is really a wild black metal hunt! This is pure darkness and evil from the beginning to the end, even the slow parts sound as malevolent as fuck. And as topping on this black metal cake they decided to cover 'Journey To The End' originally done by Windir which is kept quite close to the original and which shows again the combination of hate and fragility. Well done!

I guess this album is recommendable to everybody who likes traditional black metal and a hidden gem that wants to be discovered.

Thanks a lot to Greg from Godz Ov War who was so kind to send me the promo! Cheers!

Rating: 9 out of 10

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