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Zombi - Cosmos CD (album) cover

COSMOS

Zombi

Progressive Electronic


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Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

Zombi is a Pennsylvania duo that plays electronic cosmic music that can be reminiscent from groups as far apart as Tangerine Dream to Djam Kater or Nebelnest. This duo comprising Steve Moore as a keyboardist/bassist, while Paterra is the percussionist

Their seven tracks (divided into two chapters) are all titled after stars, galaxies and zodiacal formations, which illustrate very well the music. While not exactly revolutionary or groundbreaking, Zombi avoids the usual traps of sounding like new age music by being very energetic at times drawing some inspiration on some of Nebelnest's more enthralling moments. These moments are contrasting with the quieter more reflective ones where Klaus Schulze or Edgar Froese's influences are obvious.

While Zombi develops absolutely nothing new in Cosmos, their rehash is rather enjoyable and doesn't sound like floggen-dead horse. Rather pleasant (though not likely to overwhelm your world), but essential? I think not.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#118636)
Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
colorofmoney91
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Cosmos is the debut album by Zombi, and it isn't any different from anything that they would release over the remainder of the decade. Spacey, heavy, and energetic. Zombi have a way of creating a unique take on the Force Majeure-era Tangerine Dream sound by combining Geddy Lee/Chris Squire-esque heavy bass playing with demanding Neil Peart-like percussion, all strung together by dark synths and the occasional mellotron.

The first three tracks are all energetic robo-synth rock that are great for setting the album off on a great start, but are ultimately unimportant for the album as a whole. "Serpens" begins with the spacey sound that dominates the last few tracks, and consists of soaring synths over a repetitive bassy sequencer, and becomes dramatically like symphonic prog near the end. "Gemini" is a definite standout track - space-like synths and powerfully bassy drones make up the first half, accentuated by cosmic winds, ocean waves, and distant resonances. The second half of "Gemini" picks up pace with speedy drums and funky bass (really recalling jazz-funk- fusion from the '70s) while synths fly high above all of the organic action. "Taurus" is the longest and least accessible track on the album, and is characterized completely by experimental space-noises, electrified bass-drum pulse, cascading dissonant synth melodies and popping frequencies, with no organic percussion to be found. "Gemini" is a track most like Phaedra-era Tangerine Dream, but with much more modern production, and is very beautiful and establishes a wonderful cosmic atmosphere.

As the case has been with Zombi releases, this album is great. This electronic symphonic progressive rock with a remarkably powerful edge would be greatly suited towards people who would like to find an entrance into the world of progressive electronic but feel uncomfortable without any strong rock-related roots, but really, I would highly recommend this album packed full of cosmic energy to anyone.

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Send comments to colorofmoney91 (BETA) | Report this review (#443063)
Posted Thursday, May 05, 2011 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars 'Cosmos' - Zombi (4/10)

The debut full-length from this electronic space rock project, Zombi's 'Cosmos' shows a pair of artists that are still evidently looking for a sound that works. With comparisons readily made to such legends as Klaus Schulze or Tangerine Dream, Zombi never set out to reinvent the wheel, but rather to refurbish a spoke or two. Although they would later go on to accomplish this with a greater sense of success, 'Cosmos' is a much less realized piece of work than its successors. Although sporting a variety of vintage electronic sounds, the way they are put together are is very hit-or-miss, sometimes transporting the listener to spacial vistas, but quite often leading to a sense of misleading repetition and aimlessness in the music.

To describe the sound of Zombi to someone that has never heard them before; they are an electronic project that uses space rock effects and keyboard textures, with the added touch of having live drums and bass to back up the collage of electronic atmosphere. Since beginning with this album, the trend in their sound has led them to focus more on drawn out compositions and less on shorter energetic bursts, which are what makes up the majority of 'Cosmos'. In specific regards to this debut, Zombi's efforts seem divided between a triumvirate of longer pieces, and a mish-mash of shorter rockers to flesh out the album. Overall, these two camps that Zombi employs for the record each have their own strengths and weaknesses, although by the end of the record, it is painfully clear to the listener that their strength lies with extended and carefully textured pieces rather than conventional songwriting, which they seem to get blindly lost with.

In terms of the longer compositions, the music is composed with minimalism in mind; things rarely change too suddenly, instead favouring a gradual addition of new textures and layers onto the evolving sound. Sometimes this buildup is incredibly effective, making each new layer of spacey keyboards or chord progression heighten the sense of adventure and drama. Other times- and sadly, most commonly in the case of 'Cosmos'- the music gets rather monotonous, feeling like a soundtrack to some vintage video game. With the case of the shorter tracks, things are even less successful; although the tempo and pace is kicked up, the sparse amount of ideas that Zombi uses remains the same, so even in the case of a two and a half minute track, the amount of times one will hear the same sampled keyboard tone can get frustrating. The exception however would be the blissful track 'Andromeda', which works well as a flowing short composition, and highly reminiscent of Star Trek incidental music. Barring that, Zombi should stay clear from trying to make shorter tracks, because the rock songwriting approach really isn't working for them.

Luckily, there are some nice bass grooves here and some simplistic but effective drumming to add a little flair, but barring that, this is an album for fans of spacey electronic music. While 'Cosmos' remains something of a mediocre album though, the potential for Zombi to something very good can be heard amidst the plodding compositions and amateurish flow, and to their credit, things would only get better from here.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#462104)
Posted Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | Review Permalink
Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Anthony Paterra and Steve Moore's first studio go after a demo and EP a year before, and it's a ringer. And when you have a proper debut this good, this smoothly executed and clean, you know you're hearing a unique pairing of two modern musicians that holds the promise of many happy years and returns. Judging from their continued output, I'd say it turned out to be a happy marriage.

Usually compared to Froese/Schulze and the like, I tend to hear more Goblin meets John Carpenter in these two. But same diff-- point is, it's some rippin ass electronic sh*t, my brutha, and like follow-up Surface To Air, will please rockers and electrons alike. In fact if it's any players who've most tastefully and successfully bridged the gap between electronic prog and power rock, it's gotta be this couple of Undead. 'Orion' overtures big but 'Cestus' really starts to bloom and pulls us out into the first stratum with driving five-beat measures, layer upon layer, masterfully building the tension as it stretches into a black hole never to return, 'Cassiopeia' rises in tempo and temperature generating its own magnetic field, and 'Serpens' comes closer to brainwave pulse allowing us to rest a bit, take in the magnificent view these guys provide from orbit, and reminisces Floyd circa 1975. 'Gemini's low-frequency hum vibrates in-between one's cells and grows into eleven full minutes, 'Andromeda' has the mirth of classic prog, and 'Taurus' finishes with a bone-chilling walk on the freezing-dark surface of the Moon where nothing but bad things are sure to occur.

No guitars or singing but in Zombi's case I can't think it anything but a plus. The best art is often that which is born of necessity, of a lack of something traditionally crucial, and finds a way to turn a disadvantage into a creative tool. Recommended.

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Send comments to Atavachron (BETA) | Report this review (#663188)
Posted Sunday, March 18, 2012 | Review Permalink
1 stars Really unreal - must be a ZOMBI!

These two guys are obviously inspired by Tangerine Dream. Trouble is that whilst they may sound like TD, they completely fail to absorb the difference between layered synths, or the same that actually has substance to it - for good measure.

In my previous blurbs on their other albums I didn't spare this band. This time I can't be even that generous when it comes to this album. Here, I am confronted with extremely boring soundscapes. Somewhat reminiscent of very early TD with the dark, cosmic approach. So what's wrong here then? Simple. There is no trace of substance to any of these indulgent pieces that go nowhere.

OK, this is Zombi's first release and probably done when they were still adolescent, thinking that any sound may equal artistic merit. How on earth did they manage to get a contract for this?

I can relate to complex, or simplistic forms of expressions happily - as long as they have substance. This effort however, is as close to the pits as I've heard in a long time.

The most frustrating part is that every now and then, these cats come up with something very pleasing, almost by mistake. Not here though.

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Send comments to BORA (BETA) | Report this review (#956725)
Posted Thursday, May 09, 2013 | Review Permalink
apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Neo Prog Team
3 stars In 2004 the time for the first full-length of Zombi album had come.It carried the title ''Cosmos'' amd most of its part was recorded at the Nightmare City Studios in Pittsburgh in November 2003 except for the drum parts, recorded at El Studio around the same time.The original edition in August was a CD by Release Entertainment, but the album earned several, highly collectable reissues on double vinyl over the years by both Relapse Records and Aesthetic Records.

The first few tracks saw Zombi covered in a Space Rock mood, the closest comparison are pioneers of the style OZRIC TENTACLES.Rhythmic, synth-drenched music, overpowered by nervous electronics and showered by powerful bass and drums, passing from a cosmic enviroment to sinister atmospheres akin to GOBLIN Horror Synth film scores.The first long cut, the almost 10-min. ''Serpens'' recalls 70's-era TANGERINE DREAM and even JEAN MICHEL JARRE's works, it has this narcotic styling based on symphonic soundscapes and metronomic beats, which eventually lead to a mass of flashy synthesizers and Pattera's frenetic drumming, this is a great piece of modern Electronic Prog.The 11-min. ''Gemini'' offers more of the same, hypnotic, cosmic images, characterized by spacey synths and electronic loops in a minimalistic approach, which will explode into full-blown Space/Electronic Prog with bombastic paces, grandiose keyboards and changing tempos.The brief, symphonic beauty of ''Andromeda'' with the dreamy, somewhat THE ENID-like keyboards works as an intro for the highly experimental experience of ''Taurus''.14 minutes of minimalistic Kraut-Electronic with Berlin-school experiments, a haunting drum beat and tons of distortions and sound effects, sounding like electronic oscillators, create something between abstract noise and Electronic Music with an outlandish atmosphere, this has definitely its own majestic charm.

Zombi appear at this point as a fresh aura in the field of Electronic Music.An original mix of GOBLIN, TANGERINE DREAM and THE OZRIC TENTACLES, struggling to rely on either Electronic or Space Rock grounds.Great album, strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

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Send comments to apps79 (BETA) | Report this review (#1199233)
Posted Saturday, June 28, 2014 | Review Permalink

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