Zifir - Kingdom of Nothingness - (6/10)
Published on December 31, 2017
Zifir was initially formed as a duo by Onur Sülen and Onur Önok in 2006, Nursuz joined the band in 2008 and the band remained a three piece until Onur Sülen left in 2011, leaving the band as a duo once again (which they’ve remained since). Kingdom of Nothingness is the third full length album from the project, released through Duplicate Records. From the first notes on the album, it’s clear that the band has been heavily influenced by Scandinavian black metal of the early ’90s.
Despite being heavily influenced by the second wave, Zifir’s approach to black metal is rather downtrodden, relying on dark atmospherics and slow moving minor key passages. Everything recalls De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas era Mayhem. While there are loads of stylistic differences, there’s no denying the influence Mayhem had on Zifir’s songwriting here. Honestly, the majority of the album flows in that tried in true mid-tempo fashion with a mix of weaving trem lines and minor key noodling, with a strong emphasis on maniacal rasps and groaning shouts. The percussion is plodding and simplistic, rarely offering more than crawling rhythm: it gets the job done, even if it’s a bit lacking in execution.
For all of the DMDS worship going on, it’s a bit curious that the band’s few moments of breaking away from that mold become the most memorable. “A State of Chaos” delivers a punchy, rolling main riff while “Abet” breaks away from the doldrums of monotony with a nifty double kick rhythm. The vocals are rather one dimensional, though the forced choral warbling during “Echoes from Nowhere” sound extremely out of place, leaving one practically longing for the familiar rasp of the rest of the album. So, yeah, the band nailed it if they were going for total DMDS worship (albeit slightly less exciting), but it’s hard to shake the general plodding monotony flowing throughout. It’ll be cool to see where these guys go from here, but I’d be hard pressed to offer this as a recommendation to anyone unless they were looking for “kinda sorta sounds like Mayhem but not as fast or exciting.”