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Nov 18

Album Review: Zā Lä Thü – The Ritual of the Abyss

Za La Thu - The Ritual of the Abyss

Zā Lä Thü [USA]
The Ritual of the Abyss
2012
Demo
Independent
Industrial/Death Metal

Previously known variously as The Awakened One and AethyriaZā Lä Thü can hardly be known as newcomers to extreme metal, with the band’s history stretching all the way back to 1995. But The Ritual of the Abyss is the band’s debut demo under their new moniker, and with the weird name and even weirder/quirkier album artwork, the band has certainly caught my attention.

While the visual aesthetics of the band all seem to point towards a rather occult black metal direction, what Zā Lä Thü presents on The Ritual of the Abyss instead is some rather heavily industrial-influenced death metal. The Opening of the Portal opens the demo with a sound sample of chants, and this instantly sends chills down the listener’s back, and this is certainly not helped by the melodies that are unleashed by the heavy synths on the track, contrasted by the rather crushing riffs of The Awakened One, and the whole myriad of things happening at the same time initially overwhelms the listener.

The industrial elements, coupled with the at times complexity and the rather progressive influences easily reminds one of bands such as The Project Hate and The Monolith Deathcult, if only rawer and more unpolished. This especially so with the contrasting elements of the industrial aspects and the more melodic lead lines that The Awakened Ones use to produce a rather unique outcome. Songs like Into the Void Beyond the Sun even gives off a rather Gothenburg air with the riffing patterns and the overall song progression.

Unfortunately though, as the record progresses, things start to get rather monotonous. For instance, The Opening of the Portal seemed to drag on rather pointlessly long, especially with it being an instrumental track with the riffs starting to repeat itself after some time. Even tracks like Into the Void Beyond the Sun start to sound somewhat weird, but this could possibly simply due to the rather clinical sound that the band has utilised on The Ritual of the Abyss, lacking the sheer power that would properly drive the song.

Overall though, The Ritual of the Abyss is still a pretty decent effort considering that this is just a demo release, and with Katera now in the lineup, perhaps we can keep our eyes out for future Zā Lä Thü releases.

Zā Lä Thü on the internet:
Official website

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