Zifir – Demoniac Ethics

Band: Zifir
Title: Demoniac Ethics
Label: Duplicate Records
Release date: 24 January 2020
Country: Turkey
Format reviewed: Digital Promo

Alright. 2020. Only just into the second half of January, and yet it feels like it’s already been 200 days. The past week hasn’t been the greatest for me, I’ve been battling kidney stones for the past few days and I wasn’t sure if I would get any reviewing done, but worry not! Not even kidney stones will stop me from bringing you the thoughts of my extremely opinionated mind.

I guess there was no particular reason for my pick this week. ZIFIR formed in 2006, its black metal, this is their fourth full length album, and apparently the band name is the Persian originated Turkish word for “tar”…. Fair enough.

“Demoniac Ethics” will be released coming Friday, on the 24th of January and the 11 track record is interesting, to say the least, not to mention eerie, and slightly disturbing. The intro “Sur” contains shrieks, chants and some strange guitars which almost sound like they are being played backwards. Nevertheless it didn’t feel particularly like a special intro like on so many other records you hear, because here is a building melody going on. There is musicality here and it isn’t an intro just for the sake of having one. “Chants for Execution” has a darker side feel to it for the fact that there is a chanting male choir that the guitar does its best to follow. In that way we have major on top of minor, a layered gritty monotone, and so therefore does not sound like it is the end of the world and Satan is here to take out souls into the abyss. Continuous chanting and voices through the third track of “Still Reigning” got me thinking of Rotting Christ, but the thing is here that without the chants and the shrieking vocals you don’t really have that much going on. More or less there are two chords going on through the track, and the absolute key here is atmosphere.

“An Eerie Moment” is quite different and yet the same as the previous tracks, being the sixth in line it almost feels like another “intro” in itself. It’s not only shorter than the others, but also contains no lyrics, a bell-sound playing a melody, words spoken backwards, and some strange printer sound. Interesting. “Chaos Clouds” follows up with more traditional sound although still vastly strange. I’m not entirely sure what it is, but it’s a sound that I don’t believe I have heard before. Perhaps being from Turkey adds an exotic touch to this whole thing. Or that I just don’t understand it yet.

None of the tracks appear to start out the same way, and “Spirit of Goats” has a down tuned guitar leading the way into some more traditionally sounding black metal, “A Bleak Portrait” has more satanic stuff in the making, and “Ephemeral Idols” a nicely straight forward riff with straight forward drums. Killing Joke does black metal. Unfortunately with the last track “Insect as Messenger” it did not feel as if the knot was tied up into a neat little bow.

ZIFIR is not for everyone, that much stands clear after a first run-through of the album and for me personally I’m not sure if I want to give this another go. It’s not bad at all, they do what they do and they do it well as musicians, but it’s quite exhausting. It’s a slow ride with a lot of twists and corners so you have to hold on tight in order not to get lost in all the mist and fog of evilness. 6.5/10 Julia

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6.5/10 We May Survive
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