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Kazakhstan band ZARRAZA has been around in one form or another ever since 2012, and have been gaining quite some traction over the years, primarily in the live circuit. Following a few years in development, the band self-released their debut album "Necroshiva" in 2018. Metal is what this Kazakhstan band is all about, and a rather intense variety of it at that. Not the kind of music the majority of the people reading reviews at the progressor website will be all that interested in I surmise, as this is music made for those with an interest in the darker territories of metal and extreme metal. I guess one might say that thrash metal is something of a foundation for this band, as my impression is that this type of music lies at the core of the songs on this album. In the relatively calmer sections of their songs, as well as on individual cuts, they do explore this style of music as well, in a manner not too far removed from the likes of Nuclear Assault. But rather more prevalent are creations that appears to have been constructed around this core foundation, and then intensified. The pace is increased, the guitars turned to darker tones, the guitar sound twisted into a dirtier and grimier sound, and the lead vocalist sounding like Cronos on a really bad and angry day with a croaking style that is borderline growling at it's most intense. Thrash metal going death metal if you like. Zarraza are good at breaking up their guitar and rhythm barrages however. Instead of going for the jugular all the time, they add some nice twisted guitar effects here and there, some gentler melodic overlays and harmony details in between verse lines and verses, and they are prone to go slower in the instrumental sections and hit off with guitar solo runs with more of a classic metal and vintage thrash metal execution, whether it is flowing solo runs or more intricate scale movement oriented patterns that are explored. Some nice end sequences with something more of a delicate touch is a nice addition as well, although the word delicate here should be read as in context rather than as it is usually defined. "Necroshiva" strikes me as a fine album for those who enjoy metal of the darker and more intense variety. Thrash metal given a slight death metal makeover, or vice versa, is my main impression as far as style is concerned, with dark and dirty guitars and aggressive croaking lead vocals as dominating traits in an intense and aggressive display, backed by a solid rhythm section. That the band allows a few gentler details to find room in their songs strikes me as a positive approach to this kind of music, adding that slight bit of variation and the brief pauses needed from escapades that are otherwise somewhat relentless. A strong debut album, and one that merits a check by those with an interest in both thrash metal and death metal.
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