Dec 2013 09

CZAR - No One is Alone If No One is AliveCZAR
Category: Metal / Experimental
Album: No One is Alone If No One is Alive
Stars: 4.5
Blurb: A relentlessly cold and passionate delivery of acerbic experimental metal that sees this Chicago trio taking the next step in its evolution.


With Acumen Nation now effectively ended, the experimental metal assault of CZAR has taken the reigns as the flagship of Chicago’s Cracknation. Spearheaded by Jason Novak, the trio has already demonstrated a propensity for challenging song structures and arresting time signatures driven by a vicious onslaught of riffs that immediately place CZAR alongside the progressive metal elite. And yet, amid the aggression is a discernible melodic sensibility; beneath the noise and the distortion are intricately written and passionately delivered songs, heard on the tracks that encompass the band’s second full-length release, No One is Alone If No One is Alive.

A hollow ambience steadily rises, the squeal of feedback, and the blazing riffs of Novak and guitarist Brian Elza enter, and with the percussive assault of Dan Brill begins “Whorchard.” Possessing a dynamic range of composite time signatures and chilled atmosphere, it becomes readily apparent in this first track alone the strides CZAR has made with its sound since Vertical Mass Grave. Throughout No One is Alone If No One is Alive is a cold ambience, aided by the presence of samples that hint at the band’s industrial beginnings in Acumen, but utilized more as a textural element to provide the songs with a greater depth of sound and emotion. From the tight machine gun beats and riffs of “Aortic Flower” backed by a faint wintery howl to the aural punishment delivered by the appropriately titled “Fuming Rotter” and the breakneck rhythms of “Spitter Attack,” the album is as unrelenting as its predecessor. Each song goes for the jugular and tightens the grip with each caustic strum and beat; even as “Megafauna” begins with an almost jazzy progression that eventually descends into a pummeling demonic march, or with the disquieting chiming ambience and ominous riff of “Priestess,” or even with the band’s cover of The Beatles’ “She’s So Heavy,” this version truly exemplifying the song’s obsessive sensibility perfectly.

Just as with Vertical Mass Grave, No One is Alone If No One is Alive is an unforgiving and relentless helping of experimental metal fury. However, with an even wider assortment of samples that simply add to an already dense sonic palette, there is a greater diversity of tone than on the previous outing, allowing the listener only the briefest moments of respite from what is mostly a vicious listening experience. The trio takes all of the next logical evolutionary steps in the music, taking each song further into the realms of harrowing emotion and unbridled passion. But make no mistake; CZAR delivers on No One is Alone If No One is Alive a cacophonously satisfying blend of metal and melody that is not for the faint of heart or hearing.
Track list:

  1. Whorchard
  2. Aortic Flower
  3. Black in Black
  4. Fuming Rotter
  5. Lurvy
  6. She’s So Heavy
  7. Spitter Attack
  8. Megafauna
  9. Priestess
  10. Empty Thrones

CZAR Website
CZAR MySpace
CZAR Facebook
CZAR Bandcamp
Cracknation Website
Cracknation MySpace
Cracknation Facebook
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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