Bart D. : A sleeve in the colours red, grey and black, the band's name 'Zhabareth' in a typo that's hard to decipher, and a demo that got the title 'Or'ghin': my first expectation was to have gotten hold of a new Dutch black metal project with mystical aspirations. I couldn't have been more wrong. Zhabareth brings us a mixture between jazz and metal, which, since the birth of Cynic, we have baptized as fusion metal. A relief is the absence of distorted vocals and the like that often plague this style: this release is instrumental. Now this may be a demo, but don't let that fool you: the production is first-class and is greatly balanced between heavy and transparent. The sound reminds of that other fusion metalband in the Netherlands, Exivious, who released an amazing record with a new approach last year. Somehow this reminding is not so strange, as Stef Broks laid down the lovely and colourful grooves for both projects.
The core of Zhabareth is made up of a guitar teacher and his pupil, who also handled the keys and bass respectively. The pupil Kas Kluitman takes care of the rhythmic matters and the teacher André Orsel gives us a taste of beautiful and haunting jazz melodies that interweave with the compositions. The rhythm guitars are a little less playful than was the case with Exivious; it's more bottom-heavy and focused on syncopate patterns. Think moderate Meshuggah. This demo is a beautiful acquaintance for any person in love with this style.