Zafakon, hailing from Puerto Rico, are a unique sound experience. Equal parts At The Gates, Kreator, and old Metallica, they bring forth their influences with reckless abandon, adding a hint of technical death here and there. Vocalist/guitarist Marcus Veit sounds like he gargles with hydrochloric acid, then chews and swallows some razor blades for dessert. His vocals are CRUSHING! The band is tight, but not overproduced.
Album opener, “I. Conveyor of Shame“, brings you right to the brink out of the gate. Screaming guitars, razor sharp riffs, galloping, thunderous drums and bass, all coming at warp speed, will have you craving a circle pit right away! “Twisted Brains“, although slower in pace, is no less heavy. It actually reminds me of Slayer in their hayday. The guitar solo is brutal, yet melodic. “Ecosfear” brings forth more of a prog/tech feel, although at a blistering tempo. It builds up to a melodic, almost Gothenburg sounding chorus. “Prevaricator” has a Kreator feel and sound. It’s punishing! “II. Sirens” brings back that melodic aura. The verses are fast and brutal. Veit’s vocals are fucking brilliant here! Everything just clicks here-definitely my favorite song here. “Valor Y Sacrificio“, highlights the talent as musicians these guys really are. 4+ minutes of neck breaking riffs, highlighted with drum fills and screaming guitars. “Arbeit Macht Frei“, which means “Work Makes You Free” in German. Although this is the slogan above Auschwitz, Zafakon is definitely using this as a stab at the political side of the world. The song is fast, yet dark and haunting in parts. Very cool sound and overtone. “Phantom Scream” brings back that Kreator feel and sound. It’s straightforward, no holds barred thrash. “The Optimist” is dark and churning. The riffs are crunchy and in your face, yet the song feels textured. The phenomenal guitar work lends to that feel in a huge way! “III. Release” is the magical outro to a brilliant album. Clocking in at over 9 minutes, it takes you on a ride through darkness. It’s heavy as hell!
Zafakon are a young, talented group that are busting their ass to make it. They are planning a December/January tour of the states that will put them in front of thousands more potential fans. I certainly hope they get the recognition they deserve, because “Release” is one hell of an album!
SkullsNBones Rating (Out Of 5):
Release is out December 6th. Pre-order it here!