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Zombi: 2020

Zombi has always had a knack for creating music that is engaging, evocative, and cinematic. Although the band has many moods, some of the band’s most exciting moments have come from their clever nods to classic film scores by John Carpenter or Goblin. The band has also been excellent at developing sleek and polished synthwave in ways that are punchy, driving, and pulsating, the perfect mix for those late-night drives.

On this album, the band takes a distinctly darker approach, one that owes more to doom and sludge than to anything else. This turn might come as a surprise to listeners who especially enjoyed Zombi’s earliest releases. Those albums frequently pulsated with up-tempo moods, as in the title track from Escape Velocity. And yet, there’s often been a dark undercurrent to the band, one that made them heavy in ways other bands like them are not. I’m thinking of “Through Time” from Spirit Animal, but there are plenty of other examples. Like “Through Time,” this album plays up the epic doom of the band’s sound to great effect. I definitely recommend tracks like “Earthscraper,” “No Damage,” “Family Man,” and “First Flower” but this album is really strong from beginning to end. I definitely don’t recommend “First Flower” to be a celebration of Spring, unless you are growing something evil in your yard.

There are also some interesting progressive elements on this album that draw on bands like Rush and Blue Oyster Cult. I have definitely picked up on the Rush influence in the past. I’m especially fond of the ways “Total Breakthrough” (from the band’s 2015 release) echoes the drumming in tunes like “Subdivisions” in some rather exciting says. You can also hear plenty of Rush on some of the band’s earliest material. But on this album that influence comes across a bit more in the lush, but intense, interplay between synthesized chords (and some effective accompanying whooshes) played alongside the drums. I’m thinking mostly of tracks like “Fifth Point of the Penta” and certain aspects of “Family Man,” but there are other examples than those. I haven’t listened to Blue Oyster Cult for a really long time and so some of those influences are a bit harder for me to hear, but since the band claims that influence, I’ll take their word for it.

Putting all the talk of influences aside, the most important thing is that Zombi have once again delivered a solid album of music. I highly recommend checking out this one out!

Track Listing:
1. Breakthrough and Conquer
2. Earthscraper
3. No Damage
5. Fifth Point of the Penta
6. Family Man
7. Mountain Ranges
8. First Flower
9. Thoughtforms

Added: July 24th 2020
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Bandcamp Page
Hits: 616
Language: english

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