Barzakh is a one-man project from France with Moroccan origin. Morocco, the country of magic because of its uniqueness of the orient and the civilization of the west. Morocco, the land which carries many races in their blood, which was highly reflected through Barzakh’s music; the taste of the Arabic name, the magic of the Spanish folk music and the epic symphonic touches mixed with the harshness of Black Metal music. The band’s genre is Atmospheric/Melodic Black Metal and Experimental Black Metal. Barzakh released its first full length a month ago. The album entitled Shallow Ocean, which is a very interesting material to work on and discover. The Album consists of 8 tracks and its total length is less than 40 minutes.
After a lot of stress, you need to go with a new experience so you go through a lot of recommendations to break the boring routine. I received this album as a recommendation from some musicians so I said let’s put this project in the spotlight and discuss every track in the album.
The first track ‘Forgotten Psalm’ was an instrumental track or an instrumental intro for the whole album. It carried a nice symphonic taste and the riffs even the choirs were like telling epic. The following track was ‘September Mourning’ started with tunes of guitar in a very impressive melody. Then, I was met with a nice harmony between all of the instruments specially the bass line. It was the first thing my ears caught. The music carried some magical folk melodies and symphonic touches specially from 2:12 and the clean vocals in 2:42. Starting from this part you can distinguish the appearance of the folk tunes in the track at 3:32, just listen to folk sounds with acoustic guitar. The bass and drums formed a nice background to the other instruments then the clean vocals break this part. You will meet some seconds of silent then the music will start in faster way with some Opeth taste. The third track was ‘Catalina’, the track carried in its rifles more than one style and influence such as: Uaral taste, Spanish folk music, symphonic touches, and some riffs carried the Grindcore speed riffs.
The forth track got me crazy and I really want to talk about it a lot, because for me this track was meaningless, its position and its choice was wrong! This track was called ‘Unspoken Psalm’, yeah the track was instrumental carried the same riffs of the first track of the album – ‘Forgotten Psalm’ with its same symphonic touches but this track had cello or violin tunes,as for me the track has nothing to deal with the track following it or the track previous to it. Let me explain more; sometimes some bands put an atmospheric or calm track at the middle of the album to relieve the listener as in literature specifically in tragic plays, the dramatist puts a comic scene – Comic Interlude – between the tragic ones to relieve the stress of the audience. BUT the track that followed ‘Unspoken Psalm’ was called ‘Oceanic Cages’ its intro was completely of Uaral style; calm acoustic guitar riffs plus clean vocals as Uaral‘s vocalist’s performance in addition to riffs like Folk Spanish songs. So ‘Unspoken Psalm’ didn’t match the track before it to be as an outro for it and it didn’t match with the track after it to be as an intro for it. All I can say that maybe Barzakh wanted to increase the appearance of the symphonic touches which had their remarkable clear appearance enough.
‘Oceanic Cages’ as I mentioned above started with folk style or as I called it Uaral style, it carried riffs with a big similarity to the other track in the album with their symphonic and folk touches. I mean the same style is continued. ‘Vapor’ is another very short instrumental track with symphonic/ atmospheric taste but it slightly matched with the following track ‘Shallow Ocean’ which its riffs and style match the other tracks but this track was the richest track in the entire album. I found all the influences and different tastes in the album combined together in this track; the symphonic and atmospheric tastes, folk riffs and tunes, clear bass lines, various vocals and great harmony between all instruments. The last track was ‘Black Ballad’, it was an instrumental track which summarizes all the styles of the album in addition to perfect usage of keys for the first time throughout the album.
Finally, I can’t deny that I loved the music and the style of the album, many influences from bands like Uaral and Opeth and many touches from another music genres such as Atmospheric Black Metal but there were some negative points as the instrumental track that could not be understood. As for me I couldn’t understand the forth track. I wished to see more appearance for keys through the album but Barzakh depended on acoustic guitar more. Regarding the rate, it’s a 7 out of 10. I highly recommend it for you guys. ENJOY!
Edited By: Nehal A.Ali