Zombiefication // Reaper’s Consecration
Rating: 4.0/5.0 — Bringing forth the putrid stench of death
Label: Pulverised Records
Websites: myspace.com | facebook.com
Release Dates: EU: Out now! | US: 08.14.2012
Mexican corpse-walkers Zombiefication rose from their dark, cold graves sometime in 2009, with their debut offering Midnight Stench following a short year later. While a reasonably good first release, Midnight Stench failed to grab me by the throat or capture my undivided attention. This time however, it’s a different ghost story. Reaper’s Consecration is an EP mixed and mastered at Swedish studio Necromorbus who’ve worked with the likes of Watain, Interment and Demonical. With such guidance, there’s an expectation that Reaper’s Consecration will be Zombiefication’s best work yet. Basically, the band plays a Swedish melodic death style, similar to Dismember, At The Gates or (old) Soilwork to name but a few. However, these ghouls are no mere copy-cats and they have their own no-holds-barred style of attack on drums and bass, while adding some intensely mean guitar riffs that make me itch to pick up my own guitar. (Sigh – the days are still only 24 hours right?)
So step inside Reaper’s Consecration for some dismemberment and the putrid stench of death and decay. Queue Mr. Hitchcock (on vocals) and Mr. Jacko (on bass and guitar) and what you get when you hit play is a sound that, while it harkens back to the classic melodic death metal we know and love, it’s catchy as hell but has enough interesting elements to make it different from the slew of other bands already out there. “Dead Today, Dust Tomorrow” opens the album with a riff which welds itself to your brain in seconds, but it’s the second track that really kicks things off. At a little over four minutes long, “Deathride” takes you on a madness-inducing race of chugging, thrashy guitars and maniacal drumming blanketed by Mr Hitchcock’s shrieks, guttural growls and occasional grunts that leaves you feeling as though you’re on a high-speed chase with death itself. Check out the riff at around the 2:46 minute mark! Something that stood out for me, was Zombiefication’s interesting use of bass – first in “Deathride” and then in “I Am The Reaper.” It’s these sludgy riffs that add an intense and ominous darkness to the sound. The pace doesn’t let up on “Necrohell” before pounding into “I Am The Reaper” and finally letting up a little with “We Stand Alone,” which bring things to a close with less frenzied energy than the rest of the album. Listen out for the piano piece at the close of “We All Stand Alone,” so simple yet it haunts you long after.
Mr Hitchcock’s vocal performance and Mr Jacko’s bass and guitar work come together perfectly on Reaper’s Consecration. Their balls-to-the-walls approach combined with great feel and production shine through on what you probably guessed was my favorite track—“Deathride”! Honestly, I enjoyed this so much that I had some difficulty finding anything to follow this album on my playlist – If you have a similar problem, throw on Terrorizor’s latest release Hordes of Zombies [anyone detecting a pattern here? – Steel Druhm].
I’m battling to find any real ‘faults’ with Reaper’s Consecration so what follows is really just nit-picking. The album art is attractive enough to catch your eye (although maybe a little ‘high school’ for my taste).That being said, I admit I’m a ‘judge a book by its cover’ kind of girl and it was the band name and those reaper talons on the cover that prompted me to give this EP a listen. Frankly, my biggest complaint is that this is an EP. In total it’s just a five song offering, with a running time of 27 minutes, and herein lies my only ‘gripe’ if you will – why so short guys? How can you just leave me hanging like this?
Hopefully, Reaper’s Consecration is an omen of good things to come in the future. If the imminent threat of the Reaper, the stench of death, dismemberment and zombies are your thing (and what’s not to love on that list?), then give Reaper’s Consecration a listen [Madam X sees dead people…like all the time! – Steel Druhm]. I’m definitely adding this to my playlist.