"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Zifir - "You Must Come With Us" (CD)

Zifir - "You Must Come With Us" CD cover image

"You Must Come With Us" track listing:

1. Interrior
2. Honour
3. My Greatest Weapon
4. Final Solution Of The ( k )
5. Circus
6. Ashab - I Mesheme
7. The Day
8. Emic Suicide
9. 4
10. itiraf

Reviewed by on July 1, 2008

"'If you've heard black metal, then you've heard Zifir'"

Black metal has spread far and wide in the long years since its inception, rooting itself in every nook and cranny of the metal underground. From a particularly dark and fog-ridden nook in the Turkish underground comes Zifir, a project from Onur Önok and Onur Sülen who have joined forces from various other underground Turkish bands. The result is ten tracks (including intros) of homage to black metal in "personal, musical and doctrinal terms" - make no mistake, Zifir means business.

Although intros are normally all but an annoyance most of the time through "You Must Come With Us," opener "Interrior" portrays the darkness and obscure malice that only black metal can, and the genuinely dark air sees Zifir off to a good start. It's nice to see that musical darkness can stand on it's own without any fire breathing or forest posturing.

On to the guts of the album: it is clear Zifir isn't looking to redefine black metal on this release. "You Must Come With Us" provides a fairly meat and potatoes approach. The line Zifir straddles is closer to the melancholic French black metal sound rather than a brutal Norwegian approach, but either way it's the blueprint we all know and love. In this way Zifr can at least be likened to Mutiilation or Darkthrone, so don't expect an overly melodious affair.

Notably though, "You Must Come With Us" sits at a fairly mid-ranged pace throughout, which is unfortunately a real killer. As the material plods along you can't help but wonder why you should listen to this over any other black metal clone, or why in the world you'd want to listen to a clone band at all. It's not until towards the end that they pick up the pace on "4," where Zifir strangles out some originality with some speed and haunting vocals. While in each song you can hear efforts to pull themselves out of the endless sea of modern black metal bands, the feeling of "been there, done that" is one that permeates the release. If you've heard black metal, then you've heard Zifir. In that light, there's literally nothing wrong with this album - the vicious vocals are actually great, the riffs are mostly solid and enjoyable and everything else seems to sit where it should. However, in today’s metal world memorability and originality are oversights that can't be easily forgiven.

Highs: All around solid Turkish black metal

Lows: There's nothing you haven't heard before on this disc

Bottom line: A good effort but one that fails to break through to high ground

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)