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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Review: Zombiefication - Procession Through Infestation


Up until I received this album I had never heard of Zombiefication, yet apparently this is their third full-length release since their formation in 2009. Zombiefication is a two man outfit hailing from Mexico: Mr. Jacko, who is responsible for guitar and bass, and Mr. Hitch who takes care of the growls. That leaves the drums, for which they relied on the services of Mr. Hammer for this album and (some?) guitar solos that have been contributed by Mr. Kim. As enigmatic as their true identity may be, their music holds no such secrets, even though you will get surprised by it nevertheless. Right off the bat, just by seeing the name and the title, I had no doubt as to what dark part of the metal world their music originates from. It must be death metal. And indeed, that is mostly what you get on ‘Procession Through Infestation’, a decent portion of raw, genuine old school death metal. Mostly, because although their music is obviously heavily influenced by the music of bands like Grave, Entombed, Sinister and the likes, it differs a lot from it at the same time. Yes, there’s growling vocals, gore-filled lyrics, heavy riffs, short but intense solos, dark, humming bass lines and high speed, at times almost derailing drums, everything you’d expect in a death metal album, but it does not end there. Zombiefication did not solely hang on to their death metal roots, adding subtle elements from different other metal styles into their songs to keep things varied and interesting. A load of death, a pinch of black, a shoot of doom, a flash of thrash, all ingredients are there to make ‘Procession…’ a memorable album. The question is, did they succeed? Well, rest assured, the answer is ‘yes’!

The first song, ‘Procession’ starts with the sound of someone, or rather something, rattling at and then opening a door. How appropriate. The opening of the door unleashes Zombiefication’s 44 minute tidal wave of noise on you, dragging you into their world of death and gore. The furious opener is followed by ‘The Never Ending Quest’ which also is a solid MDM song. Good composition, well played, a few elements from different genres, both musically and vocally, truly a promising start. In the next couple of songs the genre-transcending elements get more distinct, with some thrash influences in ‘Possession’ and the more doom-influenced ‘Crossing The Rite’. Throughout the remainder of the album they keep straying from the path every now and then, seamlessly blending these excursions into their filth-ridden yet melodic death metal. The in my opinion best example of this blending is my personal favorite, ‘The Divine Door’. Excellent song structure, beautifully integrated doomy elements, an awesome solo, gloomy lyrics and ditto vocals, not much left to wish for in a song I’d say. The album ends with ‘The Blackest Light’, one of the rawest, most genuine songs on the album. What better way to end an album than growling a perfect description of its contents:

‘Infestation that condemns men
Making them sing in the language of the dead
Their melancholies, fears and memories
They are those who come and go beyond the darkness
The ones that get lost between souls of black light
Between unexplained noises that infest everything in their path’

With ‘Procession Through Infestation’ Zombiefication delivers a strong, varied album heavily leaning on the old school death metal with distinct yet subtle additions from different genres. Cleverly weaved into the song structures, these genre-defying anomalies never get the upper hand, therefore adding quite a lot to the overall experience of both the individual songs and the entire album. ‘Procession…’ is not an album that reinvents death metal, it simply clears a new path through mostly uncharted territory within it. Solidly constructed and composed songs, played by musicians who obviously know what they are doing and who are not afraid to step across any boundaries, vocals that can make you shiver, despite the not always in perfect English written lyrics, this has all the makings of a must-have album. Add to that a good production and you’ll have a hard time arguing against purchasing this album.

Written by Henric van Essen

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