Sunday, September 19, 2004

Zombi – Cosmos (Relapse)
Zombi are an instrumental duo with a whole room full of old analog synthesizers along with the good old bass and drums. They play a kind of space rock/horror movie soundtrack music in the style of Italian masters Goblin or, at times, Pink Floyd circa Wish You Were Here. The first track, "Orion," is probably my favourite due to its driving Steve Harris-like bassline. The bass isn't as prominent in the following tracks. "Cetus" is the next track, a busy workout anchored by a pulsing, oddly timed synth pattern, with drums doing a valiant job at keeping up. The same basic elements are at play in "Cassiopea," a brief but disorienting interlude that fades away into a series of sweeping synthesizer hisses. "Side one" of the CD closes with "Serpens," which takes elements from the previous songs and stretches them out into a 9-minute epic jam. Driven along by a one-note pulse, the drums carefully build until they take over the rhythm themselves and start jousting with the lead synthesizer as it solos crazily until about the 7-minute mark, when the instruments return to a looser, wilder version of the opening theme.

Side two (the songs are divided into parts I. and II. in the CD booklet) opens with "Gemini," an 11-minute creepfest/jazz odyssey that reminds me a bit of Djam Karet with its busy rhythm section interplay. The melancholic keyboard interlude "Andromeda" is next, followed by "Taurus," a march-of-the-dead drone into which a chirping synth pattern intrudes, becoming increasingly reverb-laden and discordant—a sonic accompaniment to a time-lapse film of maggots consuming a carcass.

This is an enjoyable release, and it's great to see Relapse branch out into this sort of thing. The musicianship is of a high standard and the production is rich and deep. Though I prefer Morte Macabre's Symphonic Holocaust for Goblin-esque thrills, this album rules in its own way, offering an equally valid take on soundtracks for the undead.

No comments: