You'll have seen those Animal Planet documentaries that show capture and relocation operations in the bush veldt. When they get to the other end and open the container, you'll have witnessed the bounding flight into the open that something like Springbok make upon release. A good many of the tracks on this album skitter from the crate in similar fashion.
“Svjatlom Zaginuuszaga Dnja” rushes along with raw instinct, it seems to have the imprint for furious yet engaging Black Metal stamped into its genetic make up. Of necessity that means that it is not particularly revolutionary, but it is driven and sincere which counts for far more. Unlike the antelope above, ZMROK is a predatory beast, on the hunt and intent on chasing down anything unfortunate to be within striking range.
The bulk of the bands sound is primitive and harsh with frequent scratch your eyes out lead melodies scrawling over the top of the no brakes rhythm. There is a sense of imminent collapse about these songs, if proceedings were any more ramshackle then it would all tumble down around ZMROK's ears. There is a lot of appeal to this chaotic jumble which is complimented by some tunes that are catchier than the spikes on the dreaded Candiru fish and that stick in the head with the same insistence as this little beastie does up an Amazon explorer's dick. Closing track “Zima...” is a perfect example with its folkish speed picking hooking itself inside your skull. It also races along with a sense of urgency, it's like they've just called last orders at the bar.
The production is by no means clear and that suits me fine. This album fizzes along with corrosive effect, once the jangling build into the first track has finished it's hold onto your hats and avoid contact with skin. Muffled pounding does not diminish the impact of the drums, they have that vagueness that compliments the earthy nature of ZMROK'S sound. The bass isn't shy either and richly rumbles along in support. “Viecznaja Scjuza” storms along, marrying discordance with a surging riff that reminds me of a pumped up ending of “We Are The Road Crew.” It's typical of the wealth of infectious motifs that litter the album and despite the disdain expressed in the snarling vocals, it's clear that there is plenty of enthusiasm in the delivery.
You may well experience a repeated sense of deja vu whilst listening to “Svjatlom Zaginuuszaga Dnja” but who cares? The album fits like a pair of old, worn out slippers which acquaints to familiar and comfortable, this is a raging camp-fire in a frozen forest, your back is cold but your toes are toasted. With a bucket load of crude charm, it's hard to ignore the endearing qualities of the album, whatever dark themes are being expressed.
With all this talk of familiarity and being engaging it is easy to forget that these songs have teeth, big pointy ones, big pointy fuck off fangs in fact. All the better for eating you, my dears. Here is one wolf at the door you may well be tempted to let in.
(Online January 18, 2007)