Album Review – Zifir / Demoniac Ethics (2020)

An unrelenting Turkish horde continues to pave their path of anti-religiousness and nihilism in their brand new and sulfurous album.

“Zifir is a confession about who we are, and who you are.”

Arising from the pits of Istanbul, Turkey (and also hailing from Brno, Czech Republic) with an infernal explosion of putrid Black Metal spiced up with Doom Metal and Blackened Doom nuances, an unrelenting horde that goes by the name of Zifir, which by the way is the Persian-originated Turkish word for “tar” (finding its use in “zifiri karanlık”, an idiom corresponding to “utter darkness”), returns with another blasphemous album titled Demoniac Ethics, the fourth full-length opus since the band’s inception in 2006 in the Turkish city of İzmir. Formed by Onur Önok on vocals and guitars, Ilgar on bass and Nursuz on drums, Zifir continue to pave their path of anti-religiousness and nihilism in Demoniac Ethics, showing religion through a twisted kaleidoscope, exposing the imprisoning religious dogma and tyranny that have occurred throughout history, and taking you right into the innermost sanctum of their anti-religious agenda while delivering one of the strongest and most forward-thinking Black Metal releases of late. Add to all that the disturbing artwork by Ukrainian artist Vergvoktre and there you have a full-bodied ode to darkness made in Turkey.

And cryptic, somber sounds permeate the air in the intro Sûr before Onur begins his primeval sonic attack in Chants For Execution, growling and slashing his guitar strings manically while his bandmates fire sheer obscurity from their rumbling bass and drums, also presenting background ritualistic elements to make the whole experience even more impactful to the listener. Then in Still Reigning austere lyrics are darkly vociferated by Onur (“We are in despair, now and forever / The only truth is just dystopia / Behold the portrait of hell, in the realm of hysteria”) while Ilgar and Nursuz bring a grim Doom Metal touch to the overall sonority, feeling at times like pure Blackened Doom; followed by Empire of Worms, again venturing through the Stygian lands of crushing doom with Nursuz delivering both old school Black Metal beats and ominous, sluggish sounds, while Onur continues his descent into pitch black darkness with his inhumane vocalizations.

Gökyüzü Karanlık (or “the sky is dark” from Turkish), a pure, unfiltered Blackened Doom extravaganza led by the slow and fierce beats by Nursuz, is not recommended for the lighthearted, while Onur and Ilgar extract minimalist and extremely venomous sounds form their stringed axes, whereas the beyond vile bridge An Eerie Moment prepares our senses for Chaos Clouds, a vile and imposing Black Metal feast where Onur sounds more demonic than ever, sounding very atmospheric from start to finish and bringing forward tribal drums and razor-edge, crushing riffs intertwined with the vicious gnarls by Onur. And strident guitars and endless obscurity are the main ingredients in Spirit of Goats, all boosted by its anti-religious, sulfurous words (“Life they pledge / Death of else / Tons of faith / Drowned beneath lies / All shall rot / Tons of faith / Heresy saves / I am the spirit of goats”). Put differently, it couldn’t have sounded more old school and otherworldly that this.

Never tired of spreading blasphemy, rage and darkness, the trio fires the absolutely gruesome A Bleak Portrait, a hybrid between classic Black Metal and contemporary Blackened Doom spearheaded by Onur with his hellish growls and riffs, while Ephemeral Idols leans towards a more classic version of extreme music infused with Black N’ Roll elements. Moreover, Ilgar and his menacing bass lines are effectively complemented by the headbanging beats by Nursuz, resulting in an amazing performance by the trio and ending in the most Mephistophelian way possible. Lastly, closing the album we have the also somber and cryptic Insects as Messengers, a lesson in Black and Doom Metal led by the vicious roars by Onur and the slow and poisonous drums by Nursuz, with the sound of Onur’s guitars cutting your skin deep without a single drop of mercy.

There are several locations where you can purchase your copy of Demoniac Ethics (which is also available for a full listen on YouTube), including the band’s own BandCamp page, the Duplicate Records’ BandCamp page and webstore (in CD and LP formats), Apple Music and Amazon, and of course don’t forget to support the band by following them on Facebook and on Instagram and by subscribing to their YouTube channel, keeping the fires of underground, anti-religious Black Metal burning bright and spreading the blasphemous and utterly incendiary sounds and words of such demented Turkish horde to the four corners of our decaying, condemned world.

Best moments of the album: Chants For Execution, Spirit of Goats and Ephemeral Idols.

Worst moments of the album: Still Reigning.

Released in 2020 Duplicate Records

Track listing
1. Sûr 1:33
2. Chants For Execution 4:20
3. Still Reigning 5:38
4. Empire of Worms 5:04
5. Gökyüzü Karanlık 2:36
6. An Eerie Moment 2:04
7. Chaos Clouds 4:27
8. Spirit of Goats 3:39
9. A Bleak Portrait 3:55
10. Ephemeral Idols 3:53
11. Insects as Messengers 4:32

Band members
Onur Önok – vocals, guitars
Ilgar – bass
Nursuz – drums

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