"Arrival Of The Red Sun"

By Lord Randall

ZONARIA was one of those bands that I’d never put time into. Does the world need yet another “melodic death metal” band? I live in Detroit, and the amount of “melodic death metal” (read: utter shit) bands treading these waters makes me long for the days of early ‘90s Sweden, from whence most of the “good shit” came.

Enter ZONARIA from – surprise! – Sweden, and their third full-length, Arrival Of The Red Sun. From the jump, the title track makes it clear that the sometime futuristic world of HYPOCRISY and DARKANE is the one ZONARIA calls home, triggered as fuck drums and synthetic orchestration inducing unavoidable feelings of…fatigue. Sure, the solo work is decent, the bass-heavy mix is solid, but the ridiculous digitally-filtered drumming lulls me to sleep in the exact way an opening number shouldn’t. ‘Silent Holocaust’ signals an upward trend, harmony vocals and quality guitars (both rhythm and solo) working in tandem to create an actual song instead of simply 4-odd moments of atmosphere. Also, someone seems to have reigned in the drummer, so there’s that.

Sadly, by the time ‘The Blood That Must Be Paid’ rounds the corner, all unnecessary f-bombs and senseless cut/paste riffing, it’s clear ZONARIA want to be HYPOCRISY and/or FEAR FACTORY so bad they can taste it – they just don’t have the songs for it. ‘Desert Storms’ gives false hope again, but this is the final high point in an album without many at the beginning. There’s a place for overt, blind sonic rage, for mechanical coldness in delivery, but when every song follows the same, uber-predictable progression, it sounds all falls flat, noticeably. Work more on songcraft and less on various ways to force the word “fuck” into your music, and you may have something. ZONARIA says they “won’t silence my bloodlust until I’m buried six feet under motherfucker”. Someone, quick! Bring a shovel!