Zyklon - Disintegrate
Death Metal
10 songs (45:13)
Release year: 2006
Zyklon, Candlelight
Reviewed by Kayla
Album of the month

A lot of thought must be put into naming a band; the name of a band can tell the listener quite a lot about it. You wouldn’t expect love ballads from Anal Cunt, or thrash from Elvenking. From a band named for the gas that killed millions, the very least you would expect when picking up one of their albums is a healthy dose of misanthropy, coupled with knock-down brutality. In this case, your expectations would be met in spades. Founded by Samoth and Trym, both veterans of Emperor, Zyklon has carved out a comfortable niche for itself with its particular brand of death metal.

Their third offering, Disintegrate, is full of brutal riffs, running the gamut from a heavy, mid-tempo chugging to lightning-fast to desolate and atmospheric, and intricate, precise drumming; clearly this album desires to grind your skull to dust. However, this is no mindless brutality; time and tempo changes are thrown at the listener enough to keep things interesting, but not to the point of making the songs difficult to digest. They generally come just before the solo or in a bridge of the song, dragging back any wandering attention. In addition, Secthdamon (ex-Odium, Myrkskog) uses a triad of vocal styles; a deep, rough growl and a higher, screechier growl in addition to the deep bellow that seems to be his main vocal of choice. The variation is greater than what can be found on Aeon and World Ov Worms, which is a nice evolution to see.

The songs themselves are all quite distinctive. The opener, In Hindsight, fades in to an epic piece of drumming by Trym and a driving riff. This is a departure from their previous two albums, both of which have longer, more involved album intros. In Hindsight is an excellent example of the typical use of tempo changes on Disintegrate; it starts fast and aggressive, is broken up by a more drawn-out backing for the solo, then switches back to the original, faster tempo. It’s followed by the title track and highlight of the album, which, although kicking the most ass by far, is very close to Psyklon Aeon in terms of sound and structure; a heavy, chugging riff is followed by a faster solo, and a short rest before a whirlwind close. The use of the word “disintegrate” is interesting; instead of simply meaning “destruction,” in this song, it’s also being used to denote a setting apart or isolation. It’s refreshing to find this sort of word play in death metal; Bard Eithun (ex-Emperor) writes all the lyrics for Zyklon, and he seems to have a more subtle command of the English language than some native speakers I know.

A Cold Grave has the most atmospheric feel, with a slightly more noodly riffing style and a break in the middle for a sound clip involving Oppenheimer’s famous quote from the Bhagavad Gita, the sacred epic of the Hindu faith, upon the successful test of the first nuclear bomb, “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.” This sort of political/religious sound clip is a technique also present on their previous albums, and used to good effect. The closer, Skinned And Endangered, has much the same effect as Infinite Misery on Cannibal Corpse’s Kill. It’s slower and heavier than the rest of the album, using synths in a slow opening, with the guitars crashing into existence and falling into a steady rhythm that paints an aural picture of a post-apocalyptic waste, a broken land without the smallest glimmer of hope or light. It’s a fitting end to an album dealing with man’s destructive impulses; many of the songs are about man’s devastating domination of the environment and violent or evil impulses towards his fellows.

There’s not really anything negative to say about this album. Zyklon seems to be set to deliver interesting and punishing death metal for years to come; three albums in and they have yet to falter or craft a weak song. Disintegrate is a worthy offering from these metal gods.

Killing Songs :
Disintegrate, Underdog
Kayla quoted 92 / 100
Other albums by Zyklon that we have reviewed:
Zyklon - World OV Worms reviewed by Aaron and quoted 93 / 100
Zyklon - Aeon reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
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