(Pulverised Records, 2013)
#FOR FANS OF: Death metal, Grave, Dismember, Obliteration
Certainly, Sweden’s worldwide reputation as one of the prime instigators of metal in any form has meant that whatever originality exists there will be undoubtedly copied and expanded upon by legions of other acts around the world, which brings us to the Mexican Zombiefication. Taking even a precursor spin through any of these tracks and you’d be forgiven to think this was a prototypical Swedish Death Metal band from the late 90s as the attack employed here is so spot on in regards to the influence and worship of that style that it’s almost an outright crime of thievery. You have the nasty, slicing buzzsaw-like riffs that charge at you like a runaway bulldozer pinched with the right amount of melody to make the attack bearable while pounding drums and thumping bass-lines create an atmosphere of doom and dread that seems ripped from right out of Sweden’s top-secret playbook. There’s a few wrinkles to the formula, though, that whilst not fully original does make for some rather intriguing listening at times. Rather than the traditional Swedish-styled rhythm section that builds off a groovy Thrash pattern with blistering drumming and a clanky bass-line, Zombiefication opts for more of a traditional Death Metal assault that recalls more of the retro death metal movement with the gloomy, cavernous atmosphere, and when merged with those pristine Swedish styled riffing patterns this does have a lot to like about it. Indeed, the album opening title track sets the stage for this one incredibly well with both of those influences in pristine placement to give a crystal clear emphasis on what’s going to happen throughout the course of the album. Other efforts like "Disembodied Souls," "Soul Collector," "In the Gallery of Laments" and "The Crypt" continue on this theme of traditional Swedish Death Metal guitars atop pounding rhythms and creating an overall sense of despair in the atmosphere. Thankfully, we also get a few rather impressive instances of change-ups to break the monotony. "In the Mist" drops the old-school rhythm section and becomes so blatantly Dismember-influenced the band could be held liable for plagiarism, while "In the Shadowed Garden" attempts to pass itself off as more of an atmospheric death metal song with some high-level melodies flowing throughout the blistering punishment delivered. All the while, the plodding atmospheric "Passages into Darkness" really brings down the energy level considerably and makes for a rather disappointing offering that seems like filler until the frantic final half, somewhat lowering this one. Still, this is a solid-enough outing that will definitely please the more discerning death metal fans out there who aren’t so concerned with out-and-out ripping off other bands and focus on how good they are at what they do, as this band does the Swedish sound pretty well.