Video of the Day: ZYKLON’s Soundtrack for the Decay of Modern Society

Back in 2003, Norwegian supergroup, ZYKLON, composed of members of EMPEROR and MYRKSKOG, released their second album, Aeon. And on that album, they dished out this excellent album closer, “An Eclectic Manner.” A nice fusion of the band’s apocalyptic, industrial, and extreme metal sounds, which was influenced by friends, RED HARVEST. They even got RED HARVEST‘s Ofu Kahn to lay down lead vocals on it.

Check out this epic track:

MORBID ANGEL – Illud Divinum Insanus

With the welcome return of original frontman David Vincent and subsequent years of reunion shows, the stage has been set for one of the most anticipated albums in extreme metal history. Well, some ground rules/warnings need to be set before we get into Illud Divinum Insanus.

Are you a longtime fan that views MORBID ANGEL as the first name in death metal?

Are you expecting to be blown away by a death metal masterpiece that is a worthy successor to Domination?

Do you dislike hardcore (the electronic genre of music) and industrial?

Do you expect a 100% pure death metal album from MORBID ANGEL?

If you answered “yes” to every question, then stay away from this album. You will be utterly disappointed, upset, and just resentful towards the band. Yes, this will be another Load moment.

Illud Divinum Insanus starts off with a grandiose synthesizer intro with chants akin to something from Domination. As it draws to an end, you anticipate an intense death metal track. Instead, the band kicks into a fusion of pounding hardcore, industrial, and death metal. The vocal lines are catchy and David Vincent‘s voice is as good as it ever was. However, it’s easy to envision legions of death metal/MORBID ANGEL purists vomiting in disgust. The following track, “Existo Vulgore,” kicks things to “normalcy.” The rest of the album alternates between mixes of pure death metal, hardcore/industrial, and rock (yes, rock).

First the good and easy to digest point, about half of the album is 100% MORBID ANGEL death metal. There are the scorchers, “Existo Vulgore,” “Blades for Baal,” and “Nevermore.” And man, does the band sound great on these songs – intense, razor sharp, and catchy. “10 More Dead” and “Beauty Meets Beast” are good slithering, energetic songs.

I am Morbid” introduces the band’s first incorporation of a straight up rock feel to their music. “Radikult” kicks the bouncy rock influence to a new level. The song is an anthem to the band’s longevity and success but with lyrics that are significantly more “living free and wild rock ‘n roll” than Necronomicon. “Destructos VS the Earth / Attack” sounds more appropriate for a GENITORTURERS album.

Guitarist Destructhor (ZYKLON, MYRKSKOG) is the perfect successor to Erik Rutan as his songwriting and guitar solo contributions are seamless. Drummer Tim Yeung does a great job taking the place of beloved drum god, Pete Sandoval.

It’s a no brainer that the band are expecting a large backlash over Illud Divinum Insanus. From a purely commercial point of view, this is not the album that will catapult them back to the commercial success they enjoyed during the Domination era. However, the album is far from being objectively bad. What it really boils down to is the phenomenon that many legendary bands go through: They pioneer and conquer a genre of music. They then decide to incorporate their personal favorite genres into their sound. Results tend to be mixed and fan feedback tends to be negative.

In the case of Illud Divinum Insanus, it really comes down to individual tastes and tolerance. But the bottom line is that this is not the comeback album that the metal world, at large, expected or wholeheartedly wanted. (Season of Mist)

ZYKLON Disband

Norway’s ZYKLON, lead by EMPEROR guitarist Samoth, have formally announced their disbandment. Here is the statement from the band:

“After taking an official break over two years ago, it has now become the reality that ZYKLON is no longer a functional band, and thus the decision is made to formally split up the band, instead of just letting it decent into nothingness.

“As a final release from the band, Candlelight Records will later this year put out a box set, entitled The Storm Manifesto, including all three full-length albums with various bonus material.

ZYKLON played its final show in Tokyo, Japan on the 28th of September 2007.

“All members of ZYKLON are still active on various fronts. Samoth is currently in the studio working on the debut album for his new project, THE WRETCHED END. Destructhor is still touring with MORBID ANGEL, and is still planning to complete a new MYRKSKOG album with Secthdamon. Trym is mainly working in his tattoo shop, but is scheduled to appear in a new music project soon.”

MYRKSKOG/ZYKLON’s Destructhor Joins MORBID ANGEL

MYRKSKOG vocalist/guitarist and ZYKLON lead guitarist, Destructhor, has joined MORBID ANGEL as their second guitarist. He will make his live debut with the band this summer. Here is ZYKLON‘s official statement:

“Yes, its true! Destructhor recently flew to Florida to join the godfathers of Death Metal, MORBID ANGEL. Make sure you catch them on the road for the summer festivals. We wish him the best of luck!!!

” ‘Metal Hammer writer Joel McIver reports that the new guitarist in Florida death metal legends MORBID ANGEL is none other than ZYKLON‘s longtime axemeister Destructhor (a.k.a. Thor Anders Myhren).

” ‘Frontman David Vincent told Metal Hammer in a recent interview, “The hunt for another guitarist to play alongside Trey (Azagthoth, the band’s primary songwriter) was long and difficult. Man, I tell you, we had tapes sent to us from all over the world from guys who wanted to play in our band, and many of them were extremely talented — but Thor was the right choice for us. He’s a fantastic guitarist and fits right in with the band. Also, ZYKLON have supported MORBID ANGEL in the past, so the guys knew each other already.’ ”

MORBID ANGEL is currently in the studio working on material for its first studio album since 2003’s Heretic. The upcoming CD will mark the group’s first release to feature frontman David Vincent since 1995’s Domination.”

ZYKLON Announce Plans to Go on Hiatus

ZYKLON bandleader/guitarist Samoth has announced that the band will be going on hiatus. All of the band’s members will focus on their individual projects and priorities for the time being. Here is the band’s official statement:

“Returning from Japan marks the end of ZYKLON‘s touring activities for Disintegrate. Japan is always an awesome experience. We had amazing crowds, hospitality and, of course, lots of sake. Looking back on the general touring activities for Disintegrate, we’ve seen many of the same clubs and people, but also some new places and a lot of new faces, which has been great. We made it back to the states, even if only for a one-off festival, we played the Roskilde festival, which was really cool opportunity for an extreme metal band like ZYKLON, and we did a bunch of other European festivals, some smaller tours, etc. It’s been a good run, and a particularly interesting one as Trym, Secthdamon and myself have also done a bunch of big EMPEROR shows during the same timeline. There have been both pros and cons to that situation, but all in all it’s been very cool.

“As for future plans, I guess one could say that it’s a bit “up in the air” at the moment. Looking back there have been ups and downs during the years with ZYKLON. We’re not always an easy band to manage, as all members live in different cities and have multiple commitments on different fronts, thus it’s often hard for all the logistic and practical things to work. This situation has especially come more into focus in the last year or so, where it has become harder and harder to get the band together when needed, with the spirit and excitement that one expects from a band like this. Basically, I don’t feel that we as a band have the fire needed to start working on a new album right now. Therefore ZYKLON are taking a break. This is a good time for us to do so. We have completed a good run of shows around the world for our latest album; we have completed all our contractual obligations with Candlelight Records (with success I must add, as Candlelight have treated us well, cheers mates!).

“Also, the ‘terror-twins’, Destructhor and Secthdamon, have plans to go for it with MYRKSKOG, and will hopefully finally take the actions needed to complete their new, long-delayed, album. I truly hope they will, because this is the time to do it and I know the fans have been waiting for years, and judging from the pre-production material I have heard, it will be massive statement of intricate and brutal death metal. Trym is also working on a new album with his other band, PAGANIZE, at the moment.

“Personally, I have a bunch of material written and will keep on working on that over the winter, and basically take it from there. What the future will bring I cannot say at this point. All I know is that we’re all active musicians and have no intentions what so ever to stop our mission of METAL!!!

“On other fronts, there are plans for an official EMPEROR DVD release. There’s a lot of cool material to be reviewed, mixed and edited. There are also things happening on my label, Nocturnal Art, this fall with new releases from MANNGARD, IN BATTLE and LIMBONIC ART. Make sure you log into the official Nocturnal Art, ZYKLON and EMPEROR Myspace profiles for updates.

“Cheers,
Samoth”