The Zombi Anthology

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Instrumental space rock duo Zombi have made a career out of mining the progressive synth sounds of yesteryear and building them into often lengthy jams that recall a guitar-less Rush circa 1980, or maybe Vangelis being taunted by Keith Emerson's organ-stabbing stage sword. Steve Moore (synthesizers and bass) and Anthony Paterra (drums) started the band in Pittsburgh in 2001, naming it after George A. Romero's 1985 horror film Day of the Dead (known as Zombi internationally). By the time they released Cosmos, their 2004 label debut, with the predominantly metal-centric Relapse Records, they had settled into a version of their signature sound which would prevail over their four albums. Prior to that, Moore and Paterra had bonded over their shared passion for '80s horror films and slasher pics like the one from which they had borrowed their name. Their earliest recordings together were a series of macabre, brooding tracks that paid homage to the soundtrack works of Italian horror-prog group Goblin and director/composer John Carpenter (Halloween, They Live) which they self-released on a very limited run of CDRs in 2001. Each track was simply titled "Sequence 1," "Sequence 2," and so on, and largely featured only vintage synthesizers, sequencers, and drum machines with the exception of "Sequence 3," which added live drums and even electric guitar, the latter a rarity in the Zombi camp. Two years later, they issued the three-song Twilight Sentinel EP which added live bass and drums to the mix. The EP, while still somewhat in the horror/slasher mode, leaned more toward the '70s prog sound of their 2004 Relapse debut. The band packaged both of these releases together in 2005 as The Zombi Anthology, but it mainly acted as a sort of stopgap between Cosmos and 2006's Surface to Air and never received proper distribution. Notably different than their later work, these early tracks have a delicious, sinister aura to them that crackles with suspense and are a lot of fun to listen to. After languishing in relative obscurity for ten years, Relapse finally took the initiative to give The Zombi Anthology a proper reissue.

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