Beyond the Limits of Sanity

Zustand Null

From their EPK, "Norwegian Dissonant Death Black Metal unit ZUSTAND NULL hails from Oslo and […]
February 9, 2023
Zustand Null - Beyond the Limits of Sanity album cover

From their EPK, "Norwegian Dissonant Death Black Metal unit ZUSTAND NULL hails from Oslo and formed in 2009 by Max Engvik and Ion Solounias. The music they offer could be described as simultaneously chaotic and refined; dissonant, punchy, and melodious...blending Blackened Metal with Thrash and Industrial undertones." The album has eight songs. "Existence Nihil" is the first. The entrance is full, and it sounds like an amalgam of Death and Black Metal. I don't hear many refined tones, but let's keep listening. "An Ocean of Nightmares" is another chaotic offering with a similar sound and pace. Through two songs now, this album really isn't that different from many others in the genre.

"The Mirror Maze" features a bit of a slower grind, with rich backing elements. But the sound isn't too far off from the previous two. It begins a marching sound after the half-way mark, but returns soon. "Walls of Life" opens with some light Progressive elements, mostly in the pacing, but soon falls back to that same trap again. The album is half-way over, and I have yet to hear any refined elements. The title track begins with some Industrial elements, sounding like a machine starting to warm up. But again, it falls back to the same old sound once again.

"Stranger Than Myself" features a Thrashy sound in the guitar rhythms. Although the song is played in a different key, the sound is still the same once more. "I Will Be Your Eyes" has a similar sound. I get that in the Blackened Death Metal genre, you are going to get a little bit more of a homogenous sound, but this album takes that term up to the limit. "Parasomnia" closes the album; it means "a sleep disorder that involves unusual and undesirable physical events or experiences that disrupt your sleep." Beyond that distinction however, the song is the same as the others.

Chaotic, dissonant, and punchy...yes. But refined, and The album cover is fantastic. Couple in that the band is from Norway, and you should have a recipe for an original offering. Unfortunately, that is not what you get. Indeed, you get eight songs which are nearly indistinguishable from one another...a real drag.

4 / 10

Nothing special








"Beyond the Limits of Sanity" Track-listing:

1. Existence Nihil
2. An Ocean of Nightmares
3. The Mirror Maze
4. Walls of Life
5. At the Limit of Sanity
6. Stranger Than Myself
7. I Will Be Your Eyes
8. Parasomnia

Zustand Null Lineup:

Max Engvik - Guitars
Øyvind Bjørshoel - Bass
Matthew G - Vocals, Guitars
Magnus Hagen - Drums

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