Zahena (EP 2015) By xDemoNx

Some time ago I received the first EP of a quite new band, Zahena. This one man band comes from the U.S.A. and it was formed in 2014. The self-titled Zahena was released in June of 2015 and it contains four compositions two of which are atmospheric ambient tracks while the other two are harsh Black Metal of overall duration of sixteen minutes. What I want to mention at first, is the edition of this EP. There are two cassette editions, one gold which is released in just twelve copies and the one that I received, the white one which is released in thirty eight copies. All of the artwork that is contained in the EP is perfect. It seems like by the cover to the smallest detail, they have drawn everything by hand. So immediately that makes you get closer to the band, either because they have done their edition more personal, either because they may remind you of older times and a more personal underground.

The band puts you from the beginning into the style and atmosphere of the album with the first, dark, ambient track that it presents. You can hear the sound of water dripping, screams or shouts from the distance without understanding if they are coming from a human or a Demon, you can hear the sound of bells and cracklings. So it becomes obvious that the band is taking us into a dark ritual. Having set their dark landscape, they begin their violent, harsh and dark music. Here you will come across dirty and dark, harsh and raw Black Metal. The riffs are heavy, dark and long, usually quite fast with very few parts of medium speed that they function as passages. Their brutal riffs although that they are quite interesting, they are quite repetitive, while the changes are very few. All these make the tracks quite monotonous and in some parts somehow boring.

The instruments are played in a quite good level. The guitars are very dark and bass, while into some parts maybe they sound somewhat dissonant. They are played though without any mistakes and with much passion. The bass is quite heavy and it fills the sound well, but you can’t distinguish its lines. Maybe the drums are those that are distinguished more than any other instrument in this album. They have very interesting lines, they are played with flawless technic and much power, while their beautiful turnings and bursts, make the compositions more interesting. The vocals are aggressive, bizarre screams, quite passionate and expressing. The production is bass and dirty without though making the listen difficult but giving a darker and violent approach into music. The mixture is quite balanced and is trying to interfere as less as possible. Finally, the lyrics are written in English but they are not contained in the album. By the style of the music and the artwork I understand that they refer to magic and mysticism.

The album ends with another ambient track. Here the band gets us out of the violent experience that they offered with a cleaner but at the same time more mysterious track. Generally I think that Zahena didn’t achieve to deliver exactly what they wanted or they didn’t manage to pass it to the listener. The repetitive, almost monotonous riffs become tedious in a lot of parts and they get the listener out of the scenery that they had set. The cassettes are very few and the most possible thing is that they are already sold-out, so the question “shall I buy it or not” doesn’t exist. However you can buy the digital edition if you want. To the question “shall I listen to it”, I thing I would answer that you have nothing to lose.

1. Ingressvs: Sanctissimvm Vinvm Convocare 01:51
2. Congressvs I: Sapientia Vmbrarvm 05:29
3. Congressvs II: Sapientia Lvnæ 05:04
4. Egressvs: Sangvis Immortalitatis 03:24