Dzö-nga | Blackened Folk Metal | Boston, USA
"Folk metal of the atmospheric black-tinged type: a base involving black metal chords is built upon with strings, wind instruments, and keyboards to produce a beautifully melodic sound not too far from that of Summoning at their best...The combination of folk and black is a well-established one, but it's a hugely rewarding one when delivered in the manner that Dzö-nga manage on Thunder In The Mountains."
- Metal Storm (Best of 2020)
"This is a beautiful, expansive, epic, and accomplished atmospheric post/pseudo black metal opus with a focus on Native American folklore and auditory aesthetics. It features huge number of great highlights: pristine and sorrowful melodies, lots of clean female vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, violin, and amazing solos, while still maintaining more mainline BM elements like harsh vocals, driving percussion, thrashy moments, and hints of folk."
- Black Metal Daily (Best of 2020)
"Parlando della musica, nessuno si limiterebbe a chiamare black metal quella della formazione americana: violini, tastiere, flauti, voci femminili, cavalcate e altro ancora pesano di più nel complesso degli estremismi nell’economia del suono. I brani sono molto maturi dal punto di vista compositivo: l’alternanza di soluzioni di respiro differente riesce nel suo intento di mantenere un filo coerente con la narrazione epica tradotta in melodia, avvolgendoci nel suo mondo lontano."
- Aristocrazia Webzine (Best of 2020)
"Dzö-nga jump into folklore and mythology to bring us through the tales of time with their newest outing Thunder in the Mountains. They subvert expectations with the commitment to their craft and deliver us something that feels like an adventure through music and stories."
- Everything Is Noise
"Thunder in the Mountains is simply a masterclass in what happens when more melodic and orchestral elements are added to the already extravagant elements of black metal...Dzö-nga has breathed vitality, expression, and variety into the tried and true black metal formula."
- Heavy Blog Is Heavy
"Pretty much every page of the black metal playbook is covered here, but nothing sounds forced, and nothing gives the listener any sense that the music here might in any way be contrived. Straight from the heart, this is truly soulful black metal that you need to get into your ears as soon as possible."
- Sentinel Daily
"These six songs are a total atmospheric delight...This sort of black metal blossoms and evolves instead of succumbing to entropy and claustrophobia, and that’s a great thing when you’re a little burnt out on being over-saturated with black metal cacophony."
- Invisible Oranges
"The band are coming on strong with some of their most potent compositions to date. This record is beautifully produced and wonderfully interwoven... Thunder In The Mountains is one of the most all-encompassing black metal records I've heard in a while and it's guaranteed to draw you into a mystical land."
- Two Guys Metal Reviews
"There isn’t a single iota of what’s done within the confines of “Thunder in the Mountains” that this act should not be extremely proud of, and I truly can’t wait to see what this act will be capable of in the future for now more than ever the name of Dzö-nga is one that demands to be known. "
- Head-Banger Reviews
"While oftentimes concept albums can fall short of their aim, Dzö-nga have managed to surpass expectations while firing on all cylinders, progressing in both musicianship and songwriting, and ultimately produce an exceptional realization of musical art."
- Sputnik Music
"The depth of this album is astounding—it has such a wide range of scope and is the true definition of epic. Layers upon layers build upon well-arranged songs for an album that requires multiple listens...All in all, a near perfect example of how to do Atmospheric metal right. For a journey you won’t soon forget, this album needs to be in your collection."
- Metal Temple
"If you like Atmospheric Black Metal, Extreme Progressive Metal, Nordic Folk Metal or Symphonic Gothic Metal then Dzö-nga will definitely have something to offer you as they boldly stride further and further into the possibilities their chosen brand of Metal has to declare."
- Ave Noctum
"An enjoyable and thematically interesting folky black metal record that shows the band maturing beyond their solo project roots...while I’m not sure Thunder will bring them to the upper echelon of the style, it certainly puts them on the right track while giving fans of the genre plenty to enjoy along the way."
- Angry Metal Guy
"This is a band that has a great idea of what they are...the pacing of this album is perfect. It’s the whole package...everything from top to bottom what you would would expect from a folk-inspired black metal band."
- Metal Forge Reviews (video)
"Notevole il passo avanti compositivo rispetto al lavoro precedente: molta più melodia, sublimi tastiere, un uso delle due voci estremamente coinvolgente, tra il black sinfonico e quello etnico, molto prog, molto metal, sempre alla ricerca di una divagazione interessante e ricca di poderose progressioni...Un bilanciamento di opposti molto ben concepito e geniale."
“The Sachem’s Tales provides a damn fine, occasionally stunning foray into the style that calls to mind some truly wonderful influences… Blazing, but beautiful.”
- Last Rites
“Imagine early Ulver with the acoustic palette of Opeth and the classical influence turned up to 11… Dzö-nga stand beside Nechochwen as a band offering an intriguing Native American theme along with exciting instrumentation and a healthy dose of originality. Fans of Agalloch, Ulver, and other folk/black acts are sure to love this.”
- Angry Metal Guy
“[The Sachem’s Tales is] a glorious synthesis of the heavy and the delicate that shows what the best atmospheric black metal projects can accomplish. ABM listeners are probably going to love this, but darkwave and neofolk types should take notice too.”
"DZÖ-NGA plays the great balancing act with careful precision as to let the melodies and root elements to shine through like rays of light even when the stormy black metal clouds should filter out every ray of light...a satisfying stream of melodic flow that perfectly conveys the concepts at hand despite the indecipherable lyrical content."
- Metal Music Archives
"There are moments of dazzling beauty and energy as well as a creativity that is certainly difficult to match...“The Sachem Tales” is a whole new musical journey, one that winds its way through hearts of forests, the tops of mountain peaks, and the bottom of abyssal gullies, whisking the listener into these distant lands with it."
- Sputnik Music
“In case you’re searching for the next name in Atmospheric and Epic Black Metal, you must take a listen at The Sachem’s Tales…Dzö-nga is definitely the perfect name to represent the music by this heavy and eccentric monster of underground extreme music.”
- The Headbanging Moose
“The Sachem’s Tales is a beautifully atmospheric Black Metal gem. The keyboards are all perfectly placed, and the terrifying harsh vocals come at just the right places. A unique and utterly fascinating ride.”
- The Dirty Room
"There’s always been an unspoken of elite groups of atmospheric black metal bands throughout the scene...Dzö-nga has more than proven themselves to be placed among those bands with this record."
- Head-Banger Reviews
"By combining folk elements with atmospheric black metal, [Dzö-nga's] recent album “The Sachem’s Tales” is a very unique, well-conceived, and very underrated album. Overall this release is fantastic...This will easily be one of the most overlooked albums of the year, and one that deserves as much attention as it can get."
- Metal Purgatory Media
"This is a fantastic album in the area of Atmospheric Black Metal that really takes advantage of a host of other sounds, some bright and some dark, to pare down some of the pungent sound that the more intense side of Black Metal offers as all too overwhelming. There is quite a lot of charm here blooming at every turn."
- Metal Temple
"Dzö-Nga are storytellers – so if you enjoy an album that’s going to take you on a journey via words and sounds, you’ll want to give this a listen. As I said before, the heavy parts of this album are decent, but the storytelling and songwriting on this work really make it come together."
- Bloodrock Media
“The Sachem’s Tales is a damn good listen that I’ve been recommending to people almost as soon as I finished the album. It has that Cascadian black metal feel without the actual Cascadians…maybe this could be the advent of a ‘New England’ style?”
- Resounding Footsteps
“An astonishingly focused work...best if heard in its entirety so listeners can appreciate its flowing quality, the deep brooding ambience, the use of dark space as an instrument and mood-setter, and the subtle, almost organic changes that occur throughout. This is a very brave and ambitious recording."
- The Sound Projector
"These cats are adept. Transcendant materials. I listened to it walking through a foot of snow in a large field. A snowstorm in the early hours of the morning. It was a powerful and beautiful experience. I recommend it."
- Boston Hassle
"Monolithic, cold and harrowing...The sound of the singing bowl is an ingenious choice on this record."
"Both lyrics and instrumentation conspire together to transform all thoughts into those of ice filled landscapes and snow-kissed forests...the entirety of winter’s auditory world is laid out before the listener, and with every additional syllable of the poem, every enticing melody, the more palpable it becomes."
- Illicit Listening