Not counting the pleasant intro - an introspective piano\string piece bordering on pop ballad (a good thing in this case) - and the more ‘spacey’ sounding keyboard outro, ZARGOF offers 3 songs of “Atmospheric” Black Metal for our listening pleasure.
The shrieking rasp of Bergelmir (voice, guitars, keys and synths) spins dream-like tales of sacrifice and yearning for astral kingdoms beyond the Earth while Bellharar blasts and double-kicks beneath a wave of near-hypnotic guitars and keys. Equal parts speed and mid-paced battering, the overall atmosphere is one of grandeur; this is due mostly to the always-present and epic keyboards and brings to my mind the similar style (and ideas) present in some of ABIGOR’s best work. The production is quite clear yet still retains the necessary raw edge and each instrument is well defined, although at times I felt the keyboards were a little too present and overshadowed the rest of the instruments a bit.
While Black Metal is a genre I don’t typically associate with Brazil (I usually think of Brutal Death Metal), it is clear that ZARGOF have done their homework; they aren’t breaking any brand new ground here (and really who is in Black Metal nowadays?) but rather perfectly treading the middle ground between Trooth and pomposity. This EP was originally released independently in 2004 and re-released\distributed in Oct 2005 by Ars Magna Recordings; with the wider distribution available through this signing hopefully I (and you) will get to hear more from this band in the near future.
While the music is violent and aggressive, there is a wistfulness to it that leaves me in a state of peaceful contemplation. If I won an all-expense paid trip to brood in a stone tower in an uninhabited region of the mountains, ZARGOF is the kind of music I would take along. (Online March 28, 2006)