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Zombi - 2020

by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 31 July 2020, 4:46 AM

ZOMBI is a Progressive Rock band from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For people that don’t know they took their name from the Italian title of George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead and they were highly influenced by GOBLIN who did most of the scores of the acclaimed director’s movies. This is their sixth full-length album and first since ‘’Shape Shift’’ back in 2015. They have been at it since about 2000.

The duo was highly influenced by movies and their fascination for horror movies from the likes of John Carpenter and George A. Romero resonates in their music. For a duo, they create a remarkable massive sound, a wall of sound like none other. The musical landscape of instrumental music is sparse at best in the last decade of so but the layered conception of their compositions is second to none. It’s presented very different than bands like SCALE THE SUMMIT or SYG:AR:TYR, its more akin to the experimental sounds of early KING CRIMSON. That’s really my first thought when listening to their new album.

It’s still quite synth-driven and it’s not a real departure from the previous effort, it seems they matured even more and went out of their comfort zone. It is definitely less heavy and more Progressive Rock driven than ‘’Shape Shift’’ that was really their loudest album ever. It really sounds like a score of a horror movie, it’s haunting, its, atmospheric and at it’s peak it’s going to give you some real shivers. The one thing you really notice is the adding of the guitar stylings of Phil Manley from TRANS AM. They are usually quite synth and bass heavy but they added their longtime friend to the mix. He creates some pretty epic solos and adds another dimension that was lacking in their previous albums. Some say Steve Moore’s other projects (his work with director Joe Beegis) made him lean over to using more guitar work in ZOMBI and it was an instant success.
I am pretty happy they departed from the more Dance-oriented 2011 album ‘’Escape Velocity’’ and leaned more like their first few albums. It’s not that it’s bad but it wasn’t my favorite effort and returning to the musical score roots for this album really brought to best out of the duo. It really is a love letter to the GOBLIN soundtracks (hell they even toured with them a few years back) and it’s something to enjoy with your headphones on and the volume to 11.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Breakthrough & Conquer
2. Earthscraper
3. No Damage
5. Fifth Point of the Penta
6. Family Man
7. Mountain Ranges
8. First Flower
9. Thoughtforms
Anthony Paterra – Drums
Steve Moore – Synthesizers and Bass
Record Label: Relapse Records


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