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Black Metal

Premiere Streaming: ZIGGURAT – Ritual Miasma

It’s quite refreshing to hear black metal bands with an approach as robust as Ziggurat’s. In their five track debut, this Israeli duo has crafted a work that almost seems an affront to anything that is black metal dujour. While the lofi, raw and to the bone approach thrives in the underground, Ziggurat have embraced fuller aesthetics; starting with that booming low end that gives this recording much weight and heaviness and ending with what seems to be layered distortion and simultaneous countermelodies.
What’s most striking is how hard Ziggurat hit from the start. Concentration on the opener is a must; crackling sound or perhaps acid rain hitting the pavement percolates to the side of guitars. As I go through this track time and time again, I seem to hear the cries of thousands in the back, the lament of the masses as they descend to their hellish end. Whether what I am listening to is there or not I can’t truly tell, and that goes to the merit of Ziggurat who have delivered a work of attention to detail.
Past the nuance of the intro come “Summoning the Giant Serpent” and “Blind Faith”; two brutal tracks of guttural vocals, hammering drums and melodic riffs. There is discussion around here whether the drums are completely organic; its details, changes and blasts sound thoroughly human but its possessed and frenetic speed is at times so awe inspiring it grants the question. The guitars on the other end offer up certain majesty with classic 90’s bm patterns. Take the output of Emperor during its first decade and beef it up times 100 and you are approximating the works of Ziggurat. The vocals too are bestial, deep growls that threaten with eloquence.
Ritual Miasma is a violent experience.  The tracks hit tirelessly with such relentless power it is difficult to be feel whole once its five movements are over and done with. As it comes to an end, the band closes with an instrumental titled “Death Rites Transcendence.” The pace once again is fast and energetic. Two or three guitars weaving in and out of our focus signal the end, and it is all done with mighty style. For a band of starters, this duo makes the old timers feel both proud and ashamed.
Ritual Miasma is up for pre order here and will be officially released on cassette via Caligari Records on October 11th and on CD and Vinyl by Blood Harvest in the coming weeks. Order here.

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