You know ZYKLON, right? They’ve been Samoth’s true love ever since the demise of EMPEROR, allowing the guitarist to seek a heavier and more focused output of Extreme Metal. “Disintegrate” is a devastating slab of modern Death Metal, highlighting the included strengths and inequities of the style. Compositions feature thick riffing channeled through break-neck tempos with enough solos thrown about to fully satiate the most manic air guitarist. The instrumentation remains quality throughout and the band leaves no cards behind as they play their hand; which is why “Disintegrate” proves so successful.
Samoth is a fucking lunatic. The opening riff of “Vulture” puts the entirety of post-Anthems EMPEROR to shame. That whimpering kid on the playground getting the shit kicked out him for his lunch money? (late) EMPEROR. The hostile fucker performing the battery? ZYKLON. Those typical Death Metal chugging riffs pop up from time to time, but manage to be overshadowed by the abundance of quality axe-work that my memory rarely lingers on the mediocrity. This inherent strength rears its head once you begin to get to the meat of the album; being “In Hindsight” with that solid NECROPHAGIA rhythm section. The variety is immense as we get a strong Mid-paced riff, such as the aforementioned and then blistering impact of “Vulture” and “Subversive Faith”. The tempos seem to wander back and forth between the neck snapping and mid-paced passages and this combination and color works quite well. The whole experience is nearly shoved overboard into complete spastic ecstasy when we get to the completely stellar solos. This happens as early as 3 minutes into the album and continues throughout; fucking relentless.
The drumming wanders from impulsive blast-beats to the mid-paced crunchier sections, displaying excellent musicianship all throughout. The double-bass work is particularly notable for its unrelenting ferocity and uncompromising approach. I would have preferred a bit more variety and a little less repetition, but Trym delivers a solid performance which does not get in the way of the riffing. Vocalist/bassist Secthdaemon is also of particular note, as his deep guttural growling is discernable yet vicious. The tone adds a touch of dimension to the atmosphere and is highlighted well without making it the focus of the compositions.
Nothing’s perfect though, right? Correct, in fact ZYKLON are far from perfect. There’s a subtle EMPEROR sound which lingers in the atmosphere and I cannot quite place my finger on it. Normally, this would not necessarily be a bad thing, but I find it a bit distracting and incongruent with the band’s direction and focus. Additionally, most of the riff-work is solid, but there are a good many which fail to completely kick your ass. Surprisingly, many of the chugging and stop-start type riffs found in the title track are the primary offenders. This completely bland riffage is spliced throughout the rest of the compositions and simply acts as weights dragging down the entirety of the album’s quality. “Disintegrate” also possesses a truly contemporary Death Metal sound, boasting clear production and tone which weakens the overall lethality of the disc and proves somewhat detrimental to the atmosphere. Fortunately, the album possesses a thorough feeling of sincerity which off-sets this nagging misfortune and makes the whole thing worth-while.
ZYKLON stand as a bastion of quality amongst the bands adhering to the modern Death Metal standard. Strong riffs overshadow the weaker variety and solos go straight for the throat. The song-structures are complex enough to offer interest and the whole thing possesses a nice air of vitality and assurance. Unfortunately, nothing here will completely molest you or knock your socks off, but do not let that deter you from picking up a solid disc of Death Metal which should satisfy the majority of fans. (Online June 2, 2006)