Tuesday, 13 December 2011

**Featured Band** Zombified

UKEM delved into the creepy comings and goings of Irish Zombie/Gore loving fiends Zombified

Grindscene (2010)

1.Infection 2.Morgue Angel 3.Amputheatre 4.Outbreak 5.Zombie Fodder

Wailing police sirens, news reel radio reports and screams of terror greet the listener on the short intro that is “Infection”. Second up is “Morgue Angel”, an orgy of bass heavy guitars and clattering drums with ultra-guttural vocals all performed brilliantly in old an school vein.  There’s are definite U.S death metal influence to Zombified’s sound, tempos ranging from a horror crawl all the way through to blasting madness. The guitars have a real bass heavy and gravelly tone which adds to the air of horror. Mix Incantation with a heavy dose of Crypticus and your pretty near the mark. “They’re Dead! They’re Fucking Dead” exclaims the intro to “Amputheatre” the track then opens up menacingly, a fury of blast beats and frantic guitar work. There’s a real old school vibe on show again, some of the riffing having that trade mark old school groove to them. Variation is added vocally by using screamed high pitched vocals under the guttural main vocals which although has been done a thousand times before by a thousand bands, still works very well, the contrast between the two styles complementing each other perfectly.
“Outbreak” is over before it’s begun, being the shortest (of five short tracks), clocking in at only 1:04. It’s the most brutal track on offer however, the pace unrelenting for the tracks entirety. “Zombie Fodder” closes this five track horror influenced festival of dirty, rotten and stinking old school death metal. Again, tempos are varied which adds variety to the track, vocals again mixed between the higher and lower styles and again working really well. The underlying groove to the guitars is ever present, but don’t let the word “groove” distract you. It’s not a groovy release by any means. From the artwork to the lyrics to the delivery, its old school as fuck, zombie addicted, putrid and acrid hairy arsed death metal. It’s the way death metal used to sound before every band had ‘core’ at the end of their genre description. The way death metal used to be and the way death metal should be played. No triggers or crystal clear pro-tools production here. This is knuckle dragging metal, ugly music for ugly people! Grindscene have signed a real gem here, comes very highly recommended if you want to get back to grass roots death metal.
8.5 out of 10

Grindscene (2011)

1.An Introduction To The Human Disgrace 2.Limb After Limb
3.The Forgotten Art Of Strangulation 4.Human Cull
5.The Insidious Tragedy 6.Murder Serpent

Second e.p released through Grindscene, ‘Backroom Eugenics’ needed to be something special to better the band’s debut. The boys haven’t let us down! ‘An Introduction To The Human Disgrace’ is a short musical intro blended with spoken ‘movie like’ samples and is the calm before the storm, as the sickness blasts in disgustingly with the first full song ‘Limb After Limb’. Zombified haven’t added anything new to their brand of sick and twisted death, but there is definitely a greater sense of urgency to this opening track, something not really seen on their debut. The bands trademark horror and gore inspired sound still very apparent, the guitar tone heavy as hell and with a slightly more polished sound. The tempos are varied, ranging from a sludge laden crawl to all out blast, something the band mix and craft very well with the heaviness of the guitar really punching through in the slower sections.

‘The Forgotten Art Of Strangulation’ is a really brutal offering, a frenzy of blast beats, old school morbid riffing and ultra-guttural vocals all making for a trademark Zombified track. The band seem to have crafted slightly more technical songs, the drums especially more complex than was seen on their debut. ‘Human Cull’ continues the theme perfectly, flying out of the speakers in an orgy of morbid and rotten old school death metal riffing. This is their shortest track, being only 1:36 and as with a lot of their tracks, there’s a resemblance to U.S. gore fiends ‘Crypticus’. There’s more variation vocally as well, the band opting to back up the main ultra-guttural vocals with high screams, seen frequently on ‘The Insidious Tragedy’. This does add some variety to the main guttural vocals which can hold their own brilliantly and are a real highlight and a real pleasure to listen to. ‘Murder Serpent’ closes this (all too short) e.p and it’s more of the same really, the track showing that ‘sense of urgency’ seen earlier, taking on an almost crazed sound, especially when the solos let rip.

If you still need some idea of what the band sound like, imagine the members of Crypticus and Exhumed taking the best of their riffs and then writing some songs, well that’s kind of where Zombified are coming from. We do see some progression from their debut, namely their song writing skills and handling their instruments better but there’s been no real progression in their sound…and rightly so. It’s still morbid, disgusting old school death metal, the band have found “their sound” and are sticking to it, ‘cos let’s face it, if it ain’t broken don’t fix it, don’t change it. It works and works really well. Zombified continue to produce knuckle dragging death metal and continues to be ugly music for ugly people. Again, highly recommended!

8.5 out of 10

Wilbo (bass), Jamie (guitar), Pete (vocals), Adrien (guitars), Gary (drums)

For those unfamiliar with the band , who are the members and what is their role?
Firstly thanks for having us for an interview. We are always appreciative of any chance we get to publicise the band further and expand our fan base. We are a five piece band from Belfast consisting of Pete 'Midnight' Clarke on vocals, Jamie 'Grindhouse' McClenaghan and Adrien 'Flon' Crozet on guitars, Gory 'Blast' Beattie on drums and myself, Willbo, the man of many different names, on the four stringed flame-thrower.

How did the deal with “Grindscene” come about?
Actually, Grindscene is run by our vocalist Pete, he initially started it with the intent to sign Zombified, as over the years with his previous band, Condemned, he has built up quite a big list of different reviewers, and distros to send the CD's to. As he can do this all himself, we didn't see much point of trying to get signed to another label that would only be able to offer us the same thing.

You’ve now had two releases with the label, is the plan to stay with them or maybe move up to a bigger label if there’s interest?
Personally, the plan has always been to try and get signed to a bigger label. I think that would be every underground band's dream, although we haven't seemed to get any interest from the bigger labels as of yet...though we are open to offers if anyone wants to make any.

There’s a real “old school” feeling to your sound, would you agree?
Completely, we draw a lot of our influence from 90's death metal, even though we don't consider the 90's as being old school, it's still a shock to the system realising that it was close to 20 years ago. We're not particularly trying to re-invent the wheel, just paint the fucker gold.

Musically, who influences you, if anyone at all?
As Jamie has been the main songwriter over the last 2 CD's, a lot of his inluences have came from watching horror movies. Take 'Amputheatre' as a good example, which he wrote directly after watching a zombie movie. Zombie fodder is another one that was inspired by a movie as well. Although, 'The Insidious Tragedy' was completely inspired by Suffocation, and was written the very day after we supported them. Otherwise, the obvious bands like Cannibal Corpse and Autopsy would be our main influences.

Lyrically, there’s the obvious horror and zombie theme. Would it be fair to say your fans of horror / gore / slash movies?
Absolutely. We all love a good horror movie with a good bit of unadulterated violence and gore. Although when it comes to lyrical themes, Pete is trying to move on from the Zombie theme to more darker themes. Though when it comes to being dark, I am the wrong person to be asking about that altogether. If I had it my way, everything would be Jurassic Park themed...but that's all down to personal preference at the end of the day...and thank fuck I'm not in charge.

Composing songs can often be a frustrating process, how do you guys go about it?
Jamie has been writing songs for years now. When we had a full line up the songs were re-vamped slightly to suit each member's musical preference. Adrien has written two of our songs so far, and now even I am starting to put songs to the drawing board.

Are there any new releases on the horizon?
Writing and learning songs for our first full-length album has been well underway over the past few months. We are concentrating on the album for the time being, although there may be a surprise or two in the while leading up to the album.

Is gigging important to the band and what can we expect for a live Zombified performance?
I can confidently say that gigging is the most important part of being in a band, and this will be the same opinion for the rest of the members. Personally, I love interacting with the crowds and you never know what type of mentalists you bump into at a death metal gig. From a live performance you are likely to expect beer swilling, windmilling, and a lot of unnecessary general behaviour on my part!

 Plans for the future?
We have a 4 day UK tour coming up in January 2012 with Cancerous Womb, so if you're anywhere near Manchester, Newport, Bristol or Nottingham in January, then come along for a good old piss up. Ideally our next plan of attack would be to invade mainland Europe and to keep playing gigs until the supposed end of the world next December, and providing what the radiation levels and the fallout situation is we will go from there.

What merch do you currently have available and where can we get it?
Due to unforseen circumstances, we now only have a limited stock of t-shirts left and will hopefully be getting more in the not too distant future.The Grindscene website is currently going through some updates including a merch shop and when it is back up in a couple of weeks our full listings of what we have got will be on there. Otherwise, you can get our stuff from any of our gigs.

Any final words?
Yes, thanks to anyone that has took the time to come to our gigs and buy our shit. Your support is greatly appreciated by all of us. If you haven't heard of us yet, hit us up on facebook, there's tracks on there for you all to listen to.

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