Even though 2020 was the giant dumpster fire that it was, there was still plenty of great music to rise from the political and pandemic ashes. One of the highlights was Zombi’s 2020, which saw the prog/horror/synth duo of Steve Moore and AE Paterra turning in one of their heaviest and honed in sets of songs yet. It was a high point in a year full of Purgatory-level of lows.
Thankfully we don’t have to wait another five years to hear from Moore and Paterra, as they’ve just released a brand new EP called Liquid Crystal. Though still heavy sonically this set of tunes are more introspective, while still retaining the rock solid Zombi veneer. In other words, your 2021 just got a little more interesting.
The slow burn “Mangler” opens the album with a sort of looming dread; layered synths, slow build rhythm section, and the feeling we’re creeping towards something ominous and otherworldly. “Chant” puts me in mind of some lost cue from an 80s action flick. It has sort of a ‘walking thru the gates of Hell guns-a-blazin’ vibe. The theme for a hero’s last stand. Very cool. Title track “Liquid Crystal” is much more contemplative and forlorn, taking a moment to take stock. There’s a pretty stellar guitar solo as well, giving the song almost a David Gilmour vibe.
“Turning Points” and “Black Forest” finish out the EP with pure Zombi style. “Turning Points” is over 11-minutes of classic Zombi build. Starting out in John Carpenter territory, but building into a full-on Zombi epic, “Turning Points” has the feel of a classic Moore/Paterra sonic wall of noise. Epic, grand, and impenetrable. “Black Forest” kicks the vibe up, turning in a kinetic track with a drum/synth/guitar banger that sounds like a more muscular Alan Parsons Project. Think “Sirius” after crushing a case of Red Bulls. Absolute 100 mph music.
Liquid Crystal is another stellar set of tunes from masters of space synth/prog rock Zombi. Steve Moore and AE Paterra continue to evolve and hone their sound after nearly 20 years. Between solo albums, film scores, funky collaborations, and of course the Zombi discography, Moore and Paterra take up quite a bit of real estate in my record collection and in my skull. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
8.2 out of 10
‘Liquid Crystal’ is available now via Relapse Records. Buy it here.