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Album Review

Cosmos as name and theme for Zombi's debut album is only appropriate, given how freely indebted the duo are toward the '70s-inspired style termed space rock. All it takes is the opening to "Orion," with Jean-Michel Jarre-style keyboards arcing in with the main melody; it would be more surprising if it all suddenly turned to softly cooed twee pop. The rumbling bass/drums grind that follows anchors it all further in darker styles equally prog and metal, and from there, the album seeks to both revisit this mix of impulses and, arguably, refine it. It's still very much the work of a young band channeling key impulses rather than fully putting their own stamp on a sound — if a song like "Serpens" is clearly wanting to be something that's part Blade Runner-era Vangelis and part Bernard Szajner at the beginning of his career before before fully going epic,, into-the-unknown stateliness in the second half; there's also little doubt that this is exactly what they want it to be. But the live drumming is often the key to where things will go next for the group, making their eventual signing to (and re-release of this album on) Relapse something quite understandable. Sometimes it's a matter of one element standing out the most — the initial keyboard loop that anchors "Cetus" is so immediately and enjoyably mean and ominous sounding, it almost sets the rest of the song off — but at other points, all the parts lock in perfectly, perhaps most clearly on the two lengthiest numbers, "Gemini" and "Taurus," both slow starting, deep-into-the-great-beyond zoners, with the former tune breaking into a propulsive jam that's as much deep fusion as anything else, and the latter turning even more creeped out. Both songs show that Zombi possesses a style he can build on.


Formed: 2001 in Pittsburgh, PA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Not a whole lot of space rock/prog rock bands of the early 21st century are mostly guitarless — let alone entirely instrumental. But that is exactly the approach that the two gentlemen known as Zombi have chosen to take. Comprising members Steve Moore (bass and synthesizers) and Anthony Paterra (drums), the group hails from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Shortly after forming, the duo signed on with Relapse Records, which proved to be an interesting choice — as Zombi have very little in common...
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Cosmos, Zombi
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