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Zion - Drakula (7/10) - Greece - 2005

Genre: Black Metal
Label: Self-production
Playing time: 46:00
Band homepage: -

Tracklist:

  1. Atrocities Of Vlad Tepes
  2. Order Of The Dragon
  3. Drakula - The Son Of The Devil
  4. When Love Bleeds In Vain >mp3
  5. Alone
  6. The Forest Of The Impaled
Zion - Drakula

This band has the whole Vampyric Black/Gothic Metal schtick down to a "T", that much was clear after just one listen. Now, I'm not the biggest fan of this oft maligned subgenre-within-a-subgenre, but this melodic and slightly Goth-tinged style of Black Metal can be quite enjoyable if done right (see: ANOREXIA NERVOSA, WIND OF THE BLACK MOUNTAINS), and these guys pull it off effortlessly. These Greeks have also enlisted the help of ANCIENT mainman Aphazel, and as always he is right on que - pulling off riffs that maintain just the right balance between melody and grimness. I've always been an ANCIENT fan, so I had no trouble getting into this EP. Here's a few more reasons why:

For one, this EP is highly atmospheric. Not in a sappy Goth way, but more in a plain 'dark' yet classy way - just listen to the intro's of "Atrocities Of Vlad Tepes" and "When Love Bleeds In Vain". Super stuff that brings to mind images of foggy, wind-swept harbors, dark fields and musty taverns. The annoying noises at the beginning of "The Forest Of The Impaled" sounded like mosquitoes (or a boiling kettle?), but that's another story. Secondly, the riffs are quite solid in their own right. Obviously this stuff is far removed from the hellish exploits of a band like TSJUDER or the like, but they are melodic, catchy and fun. There is also a heavy keyboard presence but at no point does it become overbearing. Finally, these guys have structured and sequencved their songs in a very professional manner - the tracks all segue into another like clockwork and each song has a very discernible intro, verse, chorus and lead section. It sounds a tad boring but this EP's linear nature is a fresh break from the often chaotic world of most Black Metal out there.

So, all in all this was a very pleasant listen. You can hear they worked had on this one and I'm sure they will have no problem tapping into the markets of bands like OLD MAN'S CHILD, ANCIENT, ANOREXIA NERVOSA and yes, CRADLE OF FILTH.

Check this one out, you might be pleasantly surprised!

Over and out.

(Online February 27, 2008)

Neil Pretorius



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