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Zombi - Escape Velocity CD (album) cover




Progressive Electronic

3.43 | 22 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Zombi have so far established themselves as one of the finest groups to create retro-tinged electronic krautrock in the 21st century, and Escape Velocity, which I've inexplicably been procrastinating writing a review for, further cements my high opinion of them.

On their previous album, Spirit Animal, Zombi went for a more traditional synth-led classic symphonic prog sound, whether it was intentional or not, and it worked very well and gave a lot of people who were more accustomed to classic symphonic prog a high-quality introduction to their discography. While the stylistic change on the previous album worked very well, I personally was hungry for more of the modern energetic post- Berlin school type sound that Zombi had been known for. Fortunately, the krauty sound is back on this album.

Compared to the first two albums, Escape Velocity seems to have a slightly increased energy and displays the group's sense of experience, which is obvious from the moment the title track starts of the album with a forceful synth sequence and very powerful drumming. Though A.E. Paterra's pounding percussion is never technical, it is very strong and gives the music an impressive energetic boost. The next track, "Slow Oscillations" (also released on a free remix EP), is absolutely magical, featuring a hard-hitting and steady beat from Paterra and sharp synth sequences and a melody that is mystical yet heavy and dark like some kind of archaic stone carved beauty. My only complain is that, at just under 3 minutes, this song could've been stretched for longer, but it is still a wonderful atmospheric track.

"Shrunken Heads" is a mid-paced, late-night racing theme set in the big city, similar to the music on Tangerine Dream's Exit but is actually stretched out long enough to develop and swell, ultimately being more satisfying. "DE3" is my personal favorite track of this album; it's got a heavy bass beat with a very high soaring, triumphant sounding synth melody that really makes me feel kind of emotional and hopeful, but the song shortly progresses into slightly darker territory quite effortlessly before climaxing. Equally emotional, albeit slower, "Time of Trobules" finishes the album with a murky pace but also with more soaring, triumphant synth melodies.

It is worth mentioning that the synth sounds that Steve Moore uses on this album is a mixture of the best of the classic '70s sound with the best of the '80s sound (removing the cheesiest elements from the '80s), which works very well for this band and, combined with A.E. Paterra's heavy drum style, makes their sound stick out. It's classic sounding, yet unmistakably modern in a way that probably won't make Mr. elitist grandpa prog fan so angry.

A lot of Berlin school music tends to get a lot of flack for being boring and uneventful, and I have to admit that sometimes it definitely is, but "boring" is a title that can't be easily applied to Escape Velocity, which is basically a heavy progressive rock album led entirely by beautiful synth melodies and rock drumming. The biggest complaint that I have with this album is that it is too short, just over 33 minutes). Maybe they'll pack more music into their next full-length album, but this album is infectious enough to tide over Zombi fans until then.

colorofmoney91 | 4/5 |


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