Album Reviews

Zombi: The Zombi Anthology (Relapse)

zombi

Zombi
The Zombi Anthology
Relapse

You have to treat compilations of a band’s early material with kid gloves, especially if said band establishes themselves with commercially or critically acclaimed albums. Very rare is it that a new band or artist can set foot in a studio environment and create a masterpiece that is completely original and unique. It’s not an insult, really, to suggest that very few bands can do so.

Consider, then, the Pittsburg-based duo Zombi, consisting of A.E Paterra and Steve Moore. Their specialty is spaced-out instrumental rock that relies on vintage equipment and owes more than a passing nod to 1970s era Italian space-rock masters Goblin. Though over the past decade and a half, they’ve grown and matured into a fine, impressive group, listening to the two releases compiled on The Zombi Anthology, the Goblin influence is undeniable.

The first of the two releases on the compilation is the band’s 2001 self-titled debut album. It presented nine untitled instrumental pieces (though only eight appear on the reissue), and while there’s a great groove on “Sequence 5” and a haunting feel on “Sequence 2,” it’s not hard to notice a vibe that not only recalls Goblin, but also American post-rock bands like Trans Am. Better, then, is the second release compiled here, a super-limited tour-only four song EP entitled Twilight Sentinel. Unlike the debut album, it’s obvious that the duo’s collaborative spirit had matured, as the songs offered here highlight a full, denser sound, one that has more confidence, and one that can present more nuanced tracks like “Gemini, Part 2,” and the final (and best) track, “DMC-12.”

The great things Zombi would go on to do might not be fully matured at this early stage of their career, but The Zombi Anthology does an excellent job of documenting those early, formative years.

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