Zardens hails from Liège, a city that has pleasantly surprised us a lot in the past. By now it seems to me that Liège shows a thriving metal scene and Zardens surely is a part of that scene. The band was founded in 2008 by Warnacht (former member of Moribund and Ex Delirium). After their debut in 2012, Zardens was asked to support Immolation. 'Blackness Unfolds' was recorded in 2013 but line-up problems left the album on the shelf until now. Too bad, to be honest, because this is an excellent blend of black & death metal.
The album opens with 'Battle Rite', the intro and blasts off with 'The Berzerker'. Very soon I'm reminded of the forerunners of the Belgian black metal scene, Ancient Rites. Fast-paced and aggressive but melodic and immersive, those seem to be key-elements for Zardens. Influences from nineties Scandinavian bands are also very present, turning the whole into a well-varied and well-written album. 'Reborn' digs a bit deeper into grinding death metal, especially with the massive sound of the guitars.
The album never lets go if its grip. In stead it keeps on blasting these complex but ravishing songs through my speakers. Other highlights are the thrashy 'Slave To The Moon' and the brutal 'Lifeblood'. Yet, it's hard to pick these favorites. Each of these songs shows a great deal of songwriting and craftsmanship and obviously also experience. In my opinion, it's about time this band crosses the language barrier (since all the songs are in English anyway) and follow Ancient Rites on their path to dominate Europe.