Polemicist – Zarathustrian Impressions (Review)

Polemicist - Zarathustrian ImpressionsPolemicist are a black/death metal band from the US and this is their debut album.

Polemicist mix black and death metal with a heavy metal influence, to create songs that have an epic feel, but without the epic lengths.

This album very much has the feel of a 90s release, when black and death metal began to experiment with the base styles more and started to merge with each other in new and interesting ways.

Driven by ominous melodies and hammering drums, the music on this album takes the feel and dark atmosphere of black metal and combines it with the macabre side of death metal, producing songs that hit the mark more than they don’t. The melodies and the sinister atmospheres that are created throughout these tracks is the music’s strongest defining feature I’d say, and Polemicist know their art well enough to take advantage of this. Frequently we find a blast beat-driven section, raging with blackened guitars, as a malign melody streaks over the top of it; it’s in these moments that we find Polemicist doing some of their best work.

Infectious and enjoyable, it’s easy to enjoy Zarathustrian Impressions, as there’s something primordially metal about it. The songs are well-written and satisfying, but it’s more than that; this is music that seems to have somehow tapped into the ineffable mysterious atmosphere so prevalent in underground bands in the 90s. Despite this, or maybe because of it, Zarathustrian Impressions still has much to say in 2019, and I find I’m listening.

Highly recommended.

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