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(drama) - "Zastor Tisine" (CD)

(drama) - "Zastor Tisine" CD cover image

"Zastor Tisine" track listing:

1. U Tugu Zagledan (Intro)
2. Novi Dan
3. Olovo I Sjene
4. Prolaznost
5. Moje Meso
6. Onako Kako Samo Ona Zna
7. Pod Plamenom (Instrumental)
8. Pred Beskrajem
9. Kiša
10. Tinta (Instrumental)
11. Namjere
12. Vakuum Duša

Reviewed by on March 19, 2011

"From the plodding doom moments to the massive death growls and into the many instrumental interludes, the band’s debut album has a lot to work through and plenty of moments that let doom fans get carried on a rapturous, slow moving ride."

The forges of metal in Croatia have been busy lately, pumping out high quality and crushingly heavy acts running the gamut from black metal to grindcore to groove metal. “Zastor Tisine” is one of the country's latest exports, courtesy of five piece act (drama). From the plodding doom moments to the massive death growls and into the many instrumental interludes, the band’s debut album has a lot to work through and plenty of moments that let doom fans get carried on a rapturous, slow moving ride.

Opening with a bevy of stringed instruments and soothing guitar tones on the introduction, it’s clear that (drama) wants to put just as much emphasis on the melodic segments as on the death metal tones. The band throws the audience for a loop as “Novi Dan” starts up, as it seems like some lo-fi necro stuff recorded on a karaoke machine is going to dominate the album, but moments later the real music blares out loud and clear.

Although the band is Croatian, a listener could be forgiven for thinking the album is the latest thing to come out of Finland. The mixing of death metal aspects, melody, and slow moving doom all end up with inevitable comparisons to acts like Rapture and Swallow the Sun. Musically, the album smoothly shifts between atmospheric segments, melodic guitar work, and heavier parts with a bigger focus on deep growls and crushing riffs.

While the overall product is high quality, there are a few instances where the more doom laden segments come up short as they blend together easily. With all the repeating sections, an eight minute song could have easily been five and been just as strong. The melodic aspects also tend to be more interesting overall, such as in “Majere,” where the ethereal guitar interlude ends up far outshining the repetitive and overly slow five minute buildup. In some cases, the interludes feel more like mile markers than anything else, letting the listener know another stretch of interchangeable road has passed by.

Despite the faults and the dragging nature of some songs, the sound on “Zastor Tisine” is still polished and high quality, and could easily be mistaken for a bigger band. Those who can really dig the more droning and repeating elements of doom will get a lot more out of it, but pretty much anyone into death metal on the melodic side should find it worth a few spins in the CD player.

Highs: Fantastic instrumental segments and great melodic interludes

Lows: Sometimes the doom segments get overly repetitive and all end up blending together.

Bottom line: The band's debut album gives a nice balance between melodic instrumental sections and slow moving death/doom.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 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)