Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 2/1/2005
posted on 4/2005 By:
If you’re one of those people who complains about bands that impersonate Suffocation, I suggest that you stop reading right now. If, however, you see nothing wrong with a bit of healthy imitation, you’re going to need to check out the latest mini-CD from Italy’s Zora. These dudes are as similar to the aforementioned Suffocation as any other band I’ve heard accused of cribbing off the New York powerhouse, meaning that the riffs are fantastic and memorable, and the musicianship is outstanding as well. The only thing which really sets Zora apart from the masters is the guitar tone and drum sound, which I will endeavor to discuss at a later point. Anyhow, after skimming their official site, which I found somewhat unintelligible, I didn’t have high hopes for this release, but here is proof that you can’t judge something by its cover, or shoddy website, as the case may be.
The compositions on Undisciplined Violent Aggression, which will be referred to as U.V.A. from here on, stand out as being skillfully put together. In fact, there’s nothing particularly undisciplined about this release. Each song is chock-full of riffs, but they are put together in an order which makes perfect sense; you couldn’t accuse Zora of taking the “stringing things together” approach. Crushing breakdowns show up here and there and add to the mosh-friendliness of this material, but apart from that, the frantic speed rarely lets up. On the whole, the music is forceful and confident, as though the band know damn well that they are good at what they do.
As I have mentioned, the musicianship on U.V.A. is pretty great. The guitar riffs are technical yet groove-ridden, and the drummer also does a great job. In fact, I thought that they might be using a drum machine until I checked their site biography more carefully. The vocals are pretty cool as well. The vocalist does a good impression of, who else, Frank Mullen, while also voicing some rough barks that remind me a bit of Max Cavalera’s work on early Sepultura albums like Beneath the Remains. I don’t even know what language the lyrics are in, which doesn’t really matter since one wouldn’t be able to understand them without a lyrics sheet.
I must say of the production that it sounds a bit too mechanical. The drum tone is too uniform for my liking, which is what led me to believe that a drum machine was being used. The guitar also seems a bit high, and maybe Zora would benefit from a more bassy sound in order to keep the low end intact. This would be great production for a band with stronger industrial elements, like Fear Factory, but for brutal death metal, it’s not entirely the right fit. Still, the mix has quite good clarity, so I’ve gone ahead and given them a good score in that field.
To sum things up, Zora are a really good band, and I’m surprised that nobody has signed them yet. For all the bitching that goes on about “Suffo-clones,” I must say that I love a well-performed album in that style. I’ve listened to Effigy of the Forgotten and Suffocation’s other efforts enough times that I’m perfectly happy when a new band shows up with an album that sounds familiar, but that I don’t already know by heart. Check out U.V.A. if you enjoy crushing, percussive death metal. I hope that some label out there has the good sense to add Zora to their roster. Here you may want to insert your own joke about the fact that "violent aggression" is essentially a redundant phrase.
Register to post comments.