You might find Zardonic in the “World” section of your local record outlet but it’s unlikely. Here’s US based Venezuelan keyboardist, DJ, composer, producer and remixer with a specialist field of heavy electronic dance music with a worldwide reputation and enthusiastic following in, amongst many other places, South America, Russia and Japan. There’s even a PS4 Zardonic video game character.
“Anti Hero” comprises twenty-six hard-hitting electro metal tracks including a number of off-the-wall remixes of the same. “Skrillex meets Slayer” is how it’s defined. I found it hard to get Wumpscut out of my radar when I listened to “Anti Hero”, but although it’s harsh in its electronically-inspired way, I found it more accessible and more melodic hardcore in style than militaristic. Industrial, street-wise, drum n bass and anarchic in flavour, I can imagine the deep electronic reverberations and soundplay bouncing colourfully and sometimes in sinister fashion around a darkened nightclub’s walls. I am reminded of heavy techno/trance, with its beats, dark industrial sounds, cosmic soundscapes and sweeping electronic movements. It’s imaginative and fun. I loved “Pure Power” and “Override” – essential techno tracks with headache-inducing beats, they took me down all kinds of interesting avenues. I suppose there’s nothing new but as an absorbing example of the genre, it’s irresistible. The “Darksiderz” remix of “Override” is just as entertaining and lively if you don’t mind the sound of disturbing mechanical noises – probably best not played in a car. Mr Alvarez, the man behind Zardonic, swept me along willingly. “Raise Hell” starts with the urgent beats of a Rammstein track and, in common with “Highway 666”, proceeds along the lines of rampant electro-hardcore. I preferred the less crossed-over “Override” and the soundwaves of the rousing “The Time is Now” but you can’t deny the energy at any stage of this process. “Antihero (Voicians Remix)” has the epic excitement of a space journey. Now was that Daleks at the end of “The Heroes Have Failed (Epilogue)”?
You quickly get the idea of what makes this tick, and you’ve got to like heavy electro dance-style music with all the associated thumping beats, sounds and shapes. If you don’t like this style, it’s unlikely to convert you. Luckily I do, and I very much enjoyed Zardonic’s darkly energetic electro-metal mayhem.
(8/10 Andrew Doherty)