An interview with Zarraza’s Nick Khalabuzar

Thrash/death metal band Zarraza from Kazakhstan opened the second day of Wacken Metal Battle Romania 2024, a two day event which took place in Quantic club from Bucharest, for...

Thrash/death metal band Zarraza from Kazakhstan opened the second day of Wacken Metal Battle Romania 2024, a two day event which took place in Quantic club from Bucharest, for the first time. On this particular occasion, Nick Khalabuzar from Zarraza sat with us for an interesting interview.

Din Intunerec: Hello, welcome to Romania and to Quantic club from Bucharest. Tell our readers a little bit about the band Zarraza.

Nick Khalabuzar: Hello, Romania, we are happy to be here, in such a beautiful country. “I thrash – therefore I am! – this is what we believe in! Actually, we mix thrash metal with death metal, groove metal and you can expect hints of progressive and math metal on a new upcoming album. It’s gonna be our third full-length album, with sci-fi-horror concept in lyrics. Our previous releases were rated by Metal Hammer with 8 and 7 stars and our version of SLAYER classic Raining blood has landed on “Top 10 best new songs of the week” of Loudwire website, along with Ozzy Osbourne. I guess this is because we added Kazakh ethnic instruments into arrangements.

Din Intunerec: Can you walk our readers through the history of the band, please?

Nick Khalabuzar: Our first album Necroshiva was released in 2018 and I consider this as a starting point for the band. But, actually, we played before and recorded a couple of demos, but disbanded in 2015. So Necroshiva album was a rebirth moment for the band. Since its release, we have shared stages with SEPULTURA, EKTOMORF, HARAKIRI FOR THE SKY, ROTTING CHRIST, TYR, KATALEPSY, ARKONA. One more album Rotten remains came out in 2019. Then, Kreated In Blood EP came out in 2022, with SLAYER, KREATOR, and GOJIRA covers.

Din Intunerec: What can you tell us about your local metal scene? Also, is it challenging to play metal in Kazakhstan?

Nick Khalabuzar: It’s growing right now and I think we have a more advanced metal scene in Central Asia. Few very good bands and a lot of upcoming and very young bands, who are eager to bring the fury on the metal scene! Very often, we are called as shaitans – demons, because of the music. I always answer these accusations with this: who is more shaitan – four guys with guitars, or an ex-minister who killed his wife in the restaurant in the light of the day? This really happened in Kazakhstan recently.

Din Intunerec: Tell us a few words about the band’s lyrical themes.

Nick Khalabuzar: My favorite songs contain quotes from Giordano Bruno, Laplace and Mikhail Lomonosov. It’s all about the human spirit, eager to discover the Universe and protect freedom of thinking, even if it’s against political climate, religion etc.

Din Intunerec: You are here for the very first time. How do you feel?

Nick Khalabuzar: I don’t know why, but everything has been so easy, from the moment we crossed the border. Maybe we have similar mentality, I don’t know. It’s just so comfortable!

Din Intunerec: What’s next for Zarraza? Any new materials we should be expecting?

Nick Khalabuzar: We have recorded five songs already and two more on are on the way. So yes, there will be a new album this year. It has a concept behind it, some riffs are very challenging and, musically, it continues the journey we have started on Necroshiva album.

Din Intunerec: Any message for our readers?

Nick Khalabuzar: For those we met during our 4-date tour – you’re amazing! You made our journey very easy and full of unforgettable moments! For the rest – keep listening to metal and hope to see you on the next Zarraza tour in Romania!

Din Intunerec: It’s been a real pleasure seeing you live and also talking with you! Thank you for your time!


Find the band and their releases so far, here.



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