August 26th, 2011
Release length: 40:44
Right away, you can easily pick up on the underground Death Metal sound of the group thanks to the slightly raw quality that leaves the album feeling a little less then rich, giving it a bit a lighter sound to the final mix. The bass is present on the mix, but blends in with the guitars to the point where half the time you won’t really even notice it. Instead, that deeper aspect to the music seems to be taken over by the heavily distorted and somewhat deeper guitars that do give the release as much of a crushing sound as the guitar itself possibly can. This isn’t helped out much by the drum kit either, which features some pretty loud snares that ring out very long and just don’t really offer a lot to the music with their sound in the first place, as well as the bass kicks that have a moderate thud that, when played fast, has a bit of a click to it that suits the dirtier sound. The snares here do give off a bit of a deeper sound to match the guitars, and the vocals are a nice mixture of growls that are done at a slightly louder, higher, and clearer pitch then you would expect. The sound of the vocals also comes off sounding a bit dirty and even disgusting at times, nicely suiting the also muddy and horrific music and audio quality of the release. But, the group also uses various audio samples throughout the album to set the Horror themed tone, such as the start of “The Chaosbreed” with various news reports or “Challenge of the Undead” with screams and something tearing into someone. These samples are the cleanest parts of the album, and match the louder audio levels of the recording so they don’t end up drowned out. It’s ovcious these clips become important to the mix from that fact, but it’s good to see they don’t appear on every song or become a crutch for this group.
But, really, the audio here is what makes Zombie Inc.‘s debut feel appropriate for the style. The album starts off with a mixture of really heavy faster paced Death Metal with a bit of a groove in the guitar work that seems to go from that catchier, headbanging approach into hard hitting simply brutalizing passages. This song leads into “Deadtribe Sinister” which takes the release into a different territory thanks to it’s more aggressive, yet catchy sound. And one of the reasons these songs sound so great is that the dirtier sound gives the album a stronger b-movie Horror kind of vibe, feeding into the lyrical content and even the sound effects perfectly. The introduction of “Challenge of the Undead” is simply nauseating, heading a man being torn apart with a sinister creature making noises before it hammers into a soul crushing track of commanding material with that muddy, simply disgusting sound and vocal approach really sets the tone for that song, and many others to follow of brutalizing and catchy Death Metal.
Zombie Inc. really bring a strong album with them for a debut offering, and even give the listeners a great amount of variety in the material presented. Much of the release has that faster pace that attempts to tear you limb from limb or at least lacerate your skin, but you also get some really crushing tracks that are highly commanding and entrancing with the heavier guitars and drums working together to make you headbang along in a mandatory fashion as it pulls you along by your entrails the previous songs had ripped out of your gut. “We Must Eat!” is not the first of these trudging, trance-inducing Death Metal cuts, but it’s one of the more enticing of them with it’s gloomier atmosphere and pace of uncompromising brutality and passages that will make you bang your head along while seeking out a brick wall to joyfully slam it against in rhythm to despairing material. But the tracks that manage to incorporate some of the highly brutal audio samples along with this march or trance enducing sound, and you’re looking at some really gut wrenching devastation. “Grim Brutality” doesn’t really have that aforementioned slower pace, but the mid-tempo speed and catchier riffs still invoke some really strong Death Metal atmospheres that feel aided by the chainsaw audio sample at the song’s start that you can’t help but feel complete in the most demented of manners towards the final product of the song. While you could argue the samples feel like an extention of influence from the group Mortician, the band doesn’t rely on long cuts like they do, and actually keep them short enough to set the tone or perhaps make you understand what the lyrica concept is based around, and then hammers away from there, leaving that tone setting element of the song behind to simply batter you with some superb Death Metal and fantastic haunting, catchy solos such as during “Grim Brutality,” “A Dreadful Decease,” and many others found throughout the release.
To be perfectly honest, at first this album is a little bit to take in all at once. The audio quality outlined above doesn’t really help to justify the overall final production that comes from the group on A Dreadful Decease, but after a few songs, or even the first spin if it takes that long, the group’s mixture of brutality and old-school Death Metal really makes for an album that grows on you with it’s intensity, gloom, despair, and death-soaked music of horror themes and samples. Zombie Inc. really takes the Horror theme to heart, and it greatly reflects in their music, presenting a passion for it and the style that comes through clearly by the energy and overall tight performances found with each and every track on here. If you haven’t been able to tell at this point, A Dreadful Decease makes for an uncompromisingly strong Death Metal album that captures a lot of what makes this style work, all with general horror themes and especially zombies. Even if you’re not a fan of the walking dead themselves, there’s no reason by pass up Zombie Inc.‘s debut offering. This release shows a band with plenty of promise that knows how to make you come crawling back for more unrestrained brutality.
01. The Chaosbreed – 4:06
02. Deadtribe Sinister – 4:18
03. Challenge of the Undead – 3:59
04. Horde Unleashed – 4:38
05. We Must Eat! – 3:30
06. Bloodrain Overdose – 5:10
07. Grim Brutality – 4:04
08. Horror Fills This Hollow Earth – 3:38
09. A Dreadful Decease – 3:17
10. Planet Zombie – 4:06
|Overall Score: 9.5/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Massacre Records.