There is a certain polished quality I couldn’t pin down about Zephyra…they reminded me of something from the late ’90s. Razor sharp production, distinct vocals, catchy riffs and a melodic sensibility entirely their own.
Then it dawned on me. This was the blueprint set by early Lacuna Coil as far back as “Heaven’s A Lie”. But don’t let that revelation spoil the band for you as there the resemblance ends.
Zephyra craft a melodic soundscape that is dripping with classical influence on “Fånge i Frihet” (“Prisoner in Freedom” translated). Vocalist Åsa Netterbrant is a notably versatile singer, capable of melody and menace in the same phrasing, powerful throughout. The layers of harmonies are reminiscent of power metal. I can hear a hint of Sabaton in the bridge, building to a crescendo with a wicked staccato scream before closing off the song with an evil hiss that would make Doro beam with pride.
Most notable to me is how the vocals would go from clean singing to a raspy growl while still staying melodic and still harmonizing the guitars. No small task to pull off well but Zephyra have it refined to an art form.
The video itself is an entire work of art on its own, matching the inner turmoil of the song perfectly. It feels like equal parts self-assessment, ironclad conviction to overcome one’s own mental barriers and the feeling that it creates. Mental illness, anxiety attacks, and general sanity can be touchy subjects for a lot of people but Zephyra tackles it all head-on with a passion that can only be driven by personal contact with the struggle their lyrics reflect. As the music rises to it’s high-point, the ropes and handcuffs keeping the singer prisoner are cast off, a physical manifestation of the mental resolve to overcome. Very powerful and very well thought out.
It bears mentioning again that this quartet from Sweden have a polished and powerful sound that is hook laden from start to finish and doesn’t shy away from difficult topics. The classical influence is undeniable. I’ll admit I’m slightly biased, being a neo-classical guy and rabid Savatage fan myself, but I guarantee you won’t be disappointed giving these guys a listen. \m/
Åsa Netterbrant – Vocals
Tony Netterbrant – Guitars
Alfonso Rinaldo – Bass
Kujtim Gashi – Drums