Zanjeer (Chain) from Bremen, Germany’s debut EP Parcham Buland Ast (The Flag is Raised) caught my attention for a couple of reasons. First of which is the artwork by Nicky Rat who also designed covers for the likes of Extinguish (who I reviewed for The Shaman) as well as Power Trip and which has an evidently Anti-Cimex, crust punk and heavy DIY vibe, this should give you an idea as to the type of music you can expect to hear.
The second thing that drew me to the band is the multi-lingual nature of the lyrics with Urdu, Punjabi and Farsi (languages native to Pakistan, India and Iran respectively). The band are comprised of Dozakhi (vocals), Zuri (guitars), Mommers (bass) and Steve (drums) and they hail from all over the globe including Pakistan, Columbia, England and Germany. The members feature in quite a number of other bands including Multinational Corporations, Beast As God, Amenazas and Dead Bhuttos. Furthermore, apologies need to be extended in advance for any inaccuracies in my translations of the track titles.
Hamdullah (Thanks To God) kicks things off and what is immediately apparent is the vocal style that reminds one of Max Cavalera during his tenure in Sepultura. This is backed up with ripping hardcore and crust punk that recalls vintage Disrupt and Discharge, making for a truly explosive start to the EP.
It is pretty obvious as to what the theme behind Taliban Murdabad (Death To Taliban) is, especially with the unfortunate re-emergence of that regime in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan in recent years. Lyrics such as ‘You claim you’re a Muslim? I say you’re a terrorist’ leaves you in no doubt that this is a band that sing from the heart and who don’t pull any punches when it comes to expressing themselves. Musically if Brazilian legends Ratos de Porão ticks your boxes then you’re in luck, musically a lot more in common with the crossover/metal vibe of that band than opener Hamdullah.
ripping hardcore and crust punk that recalls vintage Disrupt and Discharge…
Nadaran (They Don’t Have) according to a recent video interview with Trendcrusher, is about the sense of not fitting in, either with your own people or those of your adopted homeland. Musically there are hardcore influences present with shades of SSD as well as Chaos UK, although so fierce is the music that it leaves both of those bands in the dust. Nakhair (No) is the longest on the EP at just over two minutes and positively progressive when compared to the previous tracks, starting off slowly with an increase in speed from a steady thrash beat before erupting into familiar hardcore territory.
Na Un Moghe, Na Hala (Not Then, Not Now) took me a little by surprise with some nods to death metal, especially in the vocal department. It’s not full blown John Tardy but a somewhat close approximation in places, while the music feels like its attempting to summon the bowels of hell ala bands such as Abscess. Lyrically however it is a different proposition and a far cry from the horror, satan and torture obsessions of that genre and is instead a tip of the hat to all independence movements around the world.
Finally, Ijtimayi Bemaari (Societal Illness) is a lambasting of forced religious conversions, once again tapping into Ratos de Porão’s sound (never a bad thing) and would easily belong on the Brasil and/or Anarkophobia albums, especially with the killer bassline. Not a bad way to conclude proceedings.
If the struggles for social justice and freedom from oppression needed a soundtrack, this eight-minute blast of musical fury is definitely it. Immense.
Scribed by: Reza Mills