Zvijer means “Beast” in English and, like their namesake, the band has lain brooding like a beast in the darkness waiting to strike; and strike they do on new album Navia (Zadah Jalovog Svijeta)
(which translates as Navia (Foul Stench of Barren World)) with diabolical might unleashing a furious spell of traditional black metal that thunders with wrath, seethes with sinister melodic riffs, scathing vocals and a brutal sense of grandiosity while thematically exploring dark folklore and funeral customs from the Balkan territories.
Zvijer was born in 2013 in Banja Luka, Bosnia featuring two constant members, Knjaz who had a hand in forming the band and Insanus who is one of the founding fathers of black metal within the ex-Yugoslavian territories being the founder and guitarist of legendary Croatian vampiric black metal band, Castrum.
On the first album released in 2017, Vječnost Truleži (Eternity of Decay), the band paid tribute to the second wave of Norwegian black metal which greatly inspired the band’s beginnings. Their muse was Death – conceptualised as the only absolute end of our flesh. Death is still a present spectre on 2020’s Navia (Zadah Jalovog Svijeta), however lyrically and musically Zvijer have evolved, becoming increasingly inspired by Balkan folklore, funeral customs and the sacred landscapes of the region that are steeped in tradition and magic through vast ancient mountain ranges, rivers and dark forests whilst also exploring the significance of the night time as an archetype of worship and a symbol of the great unknown darkness.
Naturally with the development towards a greater atavistic approach Zvijer music also developed into a more complex living and breathing organism pulsing with an irrepressible black energy and the blood of ancient traditions. Cacophonous riffs are beguilingly melodic whilst being cold and savage as they brood and ebb like a growling beast before unleashing fast paced fury and barbaric vocal vitriol. The music has a duality like the night which it extols; being both beautiful yet threatening with dangerous malevolence as its seeks to enshroud the listener with its black firmament. Crafted with an imposing musical mastery, dynamic song writing and a towering aura of grandiosity the album becomes ever more potent and bewitching with each listen. This is pure melodic, sinister black metal based in the nineties tradition that also expresses an effortless modernity and galvanising accomplishment. It is abundant in atmosphere, yet forsakes none of its conviction, raw aggression or roots. With Navia (Zadah Jalovog Svijeta), Zvijer the beast is relentless in its attack, spanning eight tracks of mighty and furious, Balkanian Barbaric Black Metal.