Icelandic bringers of darkness ZHRINE are now streaming their forthcoming album in full, which will hit stores worldwide on April 8th. ‘Unortheda’ is exclusively premiered by Noisey as official media partner worldwide at the link below and local versions.
ZHRINE have previously revealed artwork and tracklist of ‘Unortheda’, which can be viewed below. The cover was created by renowned artist Zbigniew M. Bielak.
Regarding their album, ZHRINE comment: “It is with great pride in our hearts that we finally unveil the grand statement of chords and chaos that is ‘Unortheta’. This churning collection of dark, ethereal, odes to the desperate void has long been yearning to be set free on the unsuspecting public like a tempest of raging atonality in a glass of aural unreason, and today is the day that the deed shall be done.”
Bielak comments on his artwork: “Perhaps the most valuable thing that one can bring back from Iceland – besides the Flames of Hell vinyl – is humility. Of all places, there is where the brute force of nature and still ongoing geological processes, which shaped our environment, can be experienced in their most intimidating and vivid form. ZHRINE’s decadent concept seems to tread much in the quicksand footsteps of Alan Weisman’s seminal ‘The World Without Us’. His book simulates and scientifically analyses the inevitable succession of nature after the hypothetical disappearance of humankind from the face of earth. And just as the music on ‘Unortheta’, his conclusions are far from merry. Being more powerful than any human endeavour, in its primeval cycle, nature devours and transforms everything that we have created. Evolution itself uses disaster as an impulse for creativity within its self-reconstructive system. Brutally speaking, nature is completely indifferent to whether mankind survives or not. It is indeed a tragedy for religion that the world does not need humans, just as it is for science, that nature cannot be preserved. Conservation and environmental protection that we aspire towards are a mere act of self-defense. The shrines that future prepared for us are cold, dark and gloomy, and so is the artwork.”
ZHRINE are part of an extreme musical phenomenon rising from the Kópavogur area of Iceland’s capital Reykjavik. Although the name is new, the band is not. Starting out under the GONE POSTAL moniker in 2007, they embraced a dark death metal approach at first. Easily winning the 2012 Wacken Metal Battle at home, the Icelanders scored very high at the famous festival itself in front of an international jury.
Darkness comes natural to the high north and black is very much present in the image of Iceland’s landscapes, where volcanic ash covers large stretches of land. Winter is long and harsh with a biting cold that seeps deep into the bones. Yet it would be too simplistic to just blame nature and the surroundings on the currently fast rising black metal scene of this fiery land situated literally on the edge of the Americas and Europe.
Bands from the polar circle are making their appearance at prestigious festivals such as the Inferno in Oslo, Norway or Roadburn in the Netherlands and the impact is beginning to be felt. As often with somewhat isolated scenes developing a distinguishable handwriting, the particular darkness emerging from Iceland is drawing heavily on the French sonic pioneers DEATHSPELL OMEGA. Yet the circle encompassing groups like SVARTIDAUÐI, MISÞYRMING, SINMARA, and of course ZHRINE translates those influences into their own musical language and each group stands for an individual expression, which can be clearly distinguished from the others.
When they were still known as GONE POSTAL, the band decided to bury this name alongside their old songs in a final memorable performance at the much talked about Eistnaflug Festival. Instead the Icelanders felt the need to continue further on a path already taken. Their music has with time turned darker, more atmospheric, and filled with bleak despair. Out of this metamorphosis ZHRINE finally came into being.
Their debut album ‘Unortheta’ is now more than proving that the band made the right choices. This amazing piece of a newly formulated expression of black and death metal, sludge as well as other heavy and dark ingredients has all the chances to be regarded as one of the cornerstones of the burgeoning Icelandic scene. We can confidently claim that ZHRINE will be worth your time.