Fetid Zombie

Album Title: 
Grotesque Creation
Release Date: 
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Review Type: 

One of the many projects with Mark Riddick is Fetid Zombie. In a very near future I will write and upload a review on the Sepulchral Voices LP, which includes four bands / projects, amongst which Fetid Zombie. But that’s for one of the next days / weeks.

This review deals with Grotesque Creation, an album originally released in early 2015 via Metalhit and Morbid Visions Music. The review I wrote for that CD was posted on December 12th 2015, by the way. But now I received a re-issue from Locust Amber Records’ owner Neil, and that label re-releases the stuff on tape, though being in an edition of only 100 copies. And besides, it comes with one additional track that didn’t make it to the former edition.

First a concern about the sonic result. The sound-production is ridiculously lo-fi, and even if it was meant to be this way, I would say: [self-censorship]. Seriously, I do appreciate a certain ‘underground’-oriented sound for sure, but this is almost insulting.

But when focusing on the compositions themselves, Grotesque Creation is another story. This album brings some kind of homage or tribute, I think, to the oldest school of, especially, the Greek scene, and the European one more generally. Okay, for quite a big part it has to do with the guest appearances, done by quite a lot of Greek artists (and not ‘just some’: cf. members involved with e.g. Zemial, Thou Art Lord, Necromantia, Soulskinner, Varathron, Rotting Christ or Swamp), yet still one cannot deny the great, undeniably influential essence of the Hellenic scene. It shows itself through many aspects: the rhythmic riffing, the horrendous synths, the melodious solos, the ritual passages, the convoking vocal lines or the thrashing structures. And the former influences of the American and Swedish influences seem to have been replaced almost completely by this renewed approach.

I guess it might be a ‘problem’ to some, for this album actually brings nothing new, nothing refreshing, nothing that causes a ‘waw’-effect whatsoever. Even I, being quite open-minded, have not totally been convinced by the general result, even after three listens (this must be my fourth mindful penetration). It has not to do with a lack of professionalism or a lack of conviction; I just miss the guts to overpower the over-crowded scene; and I am afraid this album will not succeed to stand out, despite the best intentions and highly qualitative song writing plus superb ideas. Also that additional track, Insidious Pestis, goes on within the very same sphere, so in addition to the original material, it isn’t a real turn-on (nor is it the opposite). But however you try to turn this sh*t, one must recognize the fantastic creativity and vision by the artist behind this project, and when getting rid of (narrow-minded) ideas of cheapness, one might find several highly interesting aspects and elements on this album. You might, no, you must give this album a try, the benefit of doubt, but do not expect the newest revelation either… And because of adding a previously unreleased piece as bonus (I really do not think it had been released before), I surely want to add an additional point to the final score…