Zephyra - _Kämpaglöd_
(Independent, 2013)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (2 out of 10)
Zephyra claimed to be a thrash metal band in the e-mail they sent through our humble promo handling system here at CoC. _Kämpaglöd_ is a twenty-nine minute EP that doesn't come as the first release by Zephyra; it's their second EP. Midway through the first listen, I couldn't verify that claim at all. The compositions come off quite immature and they hardly resemble any kind of thrash I've heard in the past ten years -- and honestly, without the slightest interest in horn-tooting, I've gnawed my way through lots of thrash metal in the past ten years. Now excuse me while I technically explain how much I think listening to this EP isn't the best use of one's time.

Opener "Route 611" includes some awkwardly executed double bass fills and the transition from harsh to clean vocals is very abrupt and unnatural. On "Pessimist", the double bass patterns, be they gallops or 16th note fills, sound inconsistent; as if recorded by a technically inept drummer. Åsa Netterbrant, the young lady handling the vocals for Zephyra, doesn't shy away from shelling out cliché statements like "I hate your very existence" on the aforementioned "Pessimist" and "I want you to catch me when I fall" on "Release My Anger", which, quite frankly, are major points of revulsion for me. As far as riffs go, they're not the EP's weakest point, but I just can't pick one of them and find myself impressed or wanting to come back to it. Another section that I have a serious problem with is the pre-chorus on "Imprisoned Queen" where the bass guitar suddenly gets a lot louder and overshadows everything else. Such inconsistencies in production are seriously damaging.

None of these issues would leave _Kämpaglöd_ anywhere recognizable in Thrashville. On the other hand, I don't intend on bashing this humble effort just because it claims to belong to a certain genre but actually doesn't. This would be a vacant venture into semantics that would only waste time. This EP really does suffer from a few fatal flaws that will grow into massive obstacles for Zephyra if they are not resolved early on. All the aforementioned issues are mostly issues of skill. Every amazing musician we admire today used to have trouble coming up with a good sound many years ago. But with enough determination and infinite practice, you really can find your own sound. _Kämpaglöd_ is tainted, much like its cover art, with the band's inexperience at writing and producing its own music. Time usually fixes that, but you have to start with the right elements to have results on the right side of the spectrum.

Contact: http://www.zephyra.net

(article published 3/31/2013)


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