ZEPHYRA - As The World Collapses

Zephyra - As The World Collapses

9 songs
39:42 minutes
***** ***


Two years after their debut Mental Absolution, Swedish modern metal band Zephyra are back with their second longplayer As The World Collapses. Fronted by powerful vocalist Ňsa Netterbrant, whose husband Tony is the guitarist of the band, Zephyra are a band to look out for. Not only because of her flamboyant looks is Ňsa the bandís figurehead. Pink dyed hair and side cut look impressive on her imposing figure, but her voluminous voice finally is what it should be all about.

Itís hard to pinpoint Zephyra to a specific genre. Itís obvious that symphonic metal is an important element to their sound, and thatís where my single point of criticism must be voiced. Keyboards are an important instrument in that genre, but at times they have a too dominating role, which risks becoming monotonous after a certain time. Fortunately Zephyra also have a more extreme side. Thrash and death metal elements can also be made out, and thanks to the sometimes raw voice, one might draw parallels to Arch Enemy, a band that I really admire, and yet I have to admit that Zephyra are acting in an even more varied way. The pace is often quite elevated, and one canít say that the three musicians are going easy on their instruments. Whereas the vocals are close to the death metal genre, the music seems to be flirting with Eighties thrash metal. There are also quite a lot tempo changes, and at times the band is cutting down the speed to allow for dramatic and even spooky moods. Itís here where the vocalist switches her delivery, and itís great to hear that she also masters clean singing. Standout tracks are the progressive Only One and Tormenting T, a dramatic track full of twists and turns. The album ends with its title track, where the band experiments with spoken word samples that alas donít really add anything to the music.

As The World Collapses is a compact and intensive album. The band is acting very professionally from the beginning to the end. The music is varied which makes listening a positively demanding experience. The album may only be forty minutes long, but thatís actually quite ideal, because I donít know if I could have lasted much longer through the bandís powerful sound. As it is, Zephyra left me quite satisfied, and it would be nice to see them live on stage one day.

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