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Fetid Zombie - Epicedia Award winner

Fetid Zombie
by Andrej Romic at 29 January 2017, 12:09 PM

I’m searching for the word to describe my feelings right now. It might be honor, but it’s probably something more. Why? I got to review material drawn and played by the legendary underground artist/musician Mark Riddick!! He’s one of the busiest and hardest working artists in the underground metal scene, both in the nasty and horrifying art he does, and for the same, filthy, and raw music. This project, FETID ZOMBIE, released its newest record entitled ‘’Epicedia’’ on November 25’th, 2016, for one of my absolute favorite labels from India: Transcending Obscurity Records! If you don’t know them, but want to change that, check out their Bandcamp page for a cool release sampler from 2016, of course, if you’re a fan of nasty and disgusting Metal subgenres.

Mark has been quite busy on this project since it’s very formation in 2007, till this very day, releasing 11 splits, one EP, and 6 full lengths, including the newest one, released just a few months ago (still hot!). The artwork itself speaks for what you are about to listen to, and let’s not mention the music, which, when played, will probably make all mortals suffer. Let’s begin with the album. It seems short, with only four tracks, but that’s a cool trick, because in reality, the album clocks in around 35:27, and each track is longer than eight minutes, except the last one, which is ten. The first song ‘’Lowered Beneath’’, starts with chanting music, slow, yet epic riffs, human voices howling in the distance, the riffs slowly but surely shift from slow to mid fast, and the brutal, disgustingly nasty vocals kick in, sounding  100% obscure, not too deep, but absolutely audible. I hear another vocalist, which was a guest on this album (spoiler: there’s a lot of them!), and the one on this track was Yusef Wallace. They together combine their brilliant vocal work into one single raw masterpiece. Mark’s vocals sound absolutely old school, a bit more Black Metal, but still stay brutal and Death Metal influenced, while Yusef’s vocals are clearly influenced by PESTILENCE, ASPHYX, and such bands. There’s a solo at the first half of the track, and being that it’s 8 minutes long, there’s a lot of time for you to enjoy the track, and the album itself. There’s a sweet outro at the very end of the track, kind of reminding me of the intro, and the fact that it does is brilliant. The lyrical themes of the band aren’t even in doubt anything else than death, corpses, and brutal gore, a bit of a classic, but done in a horrific way, and I LOVE that!

The second track ‘’Devour The Virtuous’’, contains even deeper vocals, this time done by Dawn Desireé. Also sounding very old school, the riffs are a bit Thrash influenced, while the overall atmosphere of the whole album is really creepy, and I’m not talking about the musician’s performances but the overall chanting sound in the background. More Thrash, Death and Black influenced continue on the third song on the album entitled ‘’Devour The Innocent’’, with a pretty catchy name, it starts with bells ringing, and female voices singing.  More brutal vocals, and I assume there’s more people this time, because each vocal sounds deeper and deeper(!), this one contains a female by the name ‘’Nunsslutgoat’’! The riffs are classic, and they bring you back to the times when this genre was still evolving, and now, so many years later, people still play it, in a style of their own, yet remaining loyal to their roots.

 On to the last track, ‘’If The Dead Could Speak’’. The long awaited ten minute track. Deep, nasty riffs, a bit repetitive, this one contains a vocalist by the name of Ralf Hauber. I heard some acoustics on the way, too, which is interesting to hear, especially from a project like this. Some of the lyrics are pretty much understandable, and the fact that they are, is scary, but awesome, too. Overall, if you know inside out every single band of this genre before the new millennium, and need new stuff that sounds like GHOUL, MACABRE or MORTICIAN, give this band a listen, and support Mark in any way possible. I am sure he will appreciate it.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Lowered Beneath
2. Devour The Virtuous
3. Devour The Innocent
4. If The Dead Could Speak
Mark Riddick - Vocals, Guitars, Drum Programming, Bass
Brian Forman - Session drummer
Record Label: Transcending Obscurity Records


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