This review is going to be about an underground black metal band, that is somehow relatively unknown but it is a great band and it contains one of the best black metal icons in the history of black metal! Sadly Zyklon-b’s lifespan was a very short one, they didn’t even release a full length album, they only have one Ep and it deserves to be praised and to be acclaimed as one of the greatest releases from an underground band!
Zyklon-b consists of Ihsahn , the “shrieker” and monstrous guitarist of Emperor, Frost , the insane drummer of Satyricon, Samoth of Emperor and Draug Aldrahn of Dødheimsgard. This band didn’t create an Ep it created Armageddon on tape! Blood Must Be Shed isn’t your usual black metal album; it talks about warfare and misanthropy it is so fast, so aggressive that all you want to do is shed blood! You can’t really put a label on this genre of black metal because it captures the rawness and extremeness of Satyricon and the beauty and atmosphere of Emperor! With Ihsahn on keyboards you can only picture the atmosphere he creates!
The album starts off with Mental Orgasm, a very fast song and from the beginning it is revealing that Frost is on drums, even without the listener knowing that! A dedicated black metal fan will realize his drumming as soon as the song starts! The vocals are very unusual and I think they really are the elements that differentiate this band from any other Black Metal band! Aldrahn doesn’t growl and yet he doesn’t use clean vocals, it’s somewhere in between, he blends clean vocals and harsh vocals in an amazing way. The song continues its destruction and it continues to blast its way through brick walls! Yes this band is destructive in every sense!
Blood Soil is the next song on the Ep, it is somehow slower than the first song and the guitars are more heard on this one. The recording quality on this Ep is below average but that is a positive since it adds to the rawness of the music, it makes it seem more real, it really seems as if this band recorded the Ep in a war! Frost’s drumming becomes faster and the guitars as well and the song ends with Blood Soil being repeated and shouted over and over again. The song ends leaving its way to the last and best track on this Ep.
Total Warfare is the most misanthropic song I have ever heard! The lyrics are very dark and very sadistic in a sense “War is good, aids is good, mass murder is good, gang violence is good, crack cocaine is good. Anything that contributes to depopulating the earth is good.” With lyrics like that you can’t but expect the band members to have a lot of hate towards humanity and wanting to destroy it completely. What I really like on this track are the Keyboards, for they give the song a more evil feel to it especially to the end of the song. They become hypnotic especially with the vocalist screaming Show No Mercy and repeating it over and over again. This song is the song that should be played in Armageddon, it is raw it is evil and it depicts what will happen at Armageddon.