Last year saw the impressive decay of Alice In Zombieland from Post-Apocalyptic Industrial Zombie Tech band Virus Cycle consume the senses, the release a formidable and startling debut album from the one man project of Johnny Virum. It was a raw and uncompromising release which impressively reflected its stark and corrosive narrative in sound and energy. As strong and compulsive as it was, it now pales against its follow-up Zombichrist, an album even more destructive but with a marked evolution and maturity in composition and structure. Not an album for the weak hearted or those flimsy in spirit, Zombichrist churns up senses and blisters synapses with acidic sonics, festering intensity, and the breath of reanimated death. It depletes and inspires energies, evoking cinematic soundscapes and numbing erosion of hope and light. It is a remarkable release which needs to be allowed to envelop and consume numerous times to reap the full rewards of its imagination and power.
Pre Virus Cycle, Jonny Virum was involved in projects which saw him releasing numerous albums and supporting the likes of The Misfits on their 30th Anniversary Tour, Gothminister, Carfax Abbey and Thou Shalt Not, the artist already a respected veteran of the Boston music scene. Since releasing Alice In Zombieland, Virus Cycle has opened for bands such as The Ludovico Technique, Nolongerhuman, Morningwood and Mindless Self Indulgence, as well as seeing a remix album of their debut called Return to Zombieland which featured reinvented tracks from numerous talents including Otto Kinzel, who co-produced the new album with Virum and is the owner of Bluntface Records, the label it is released through.
The union of the pair on the production side has certainly brought a more rounded and darker intrusion to the album, their understanding spawning a deeper energy sucking presence and interpretation of the death driven annihilatory sounds and atmospheres. The release explores further depths and shadows within the disturbing undead driven world from which it is borne, its touch a disturbing and malevolent cinematic experience drenched in the shadows of horror and zombie movies, specifically of the Italian maestros like Lucio Fulchi, whose Zombi is said to have inspired the album.
Opening track The Dead Hate The Living sets the tone, its film sample bringing in an insidious and crawling death soaked atmosphere. Groaning ambience throws heavy whispers across the senses before slowly blistering guitars leave their abrasive caresses across the ear. The vocals of Virum again resonate with a decomposed breath, something newcomers to the band may have to warm to but are an integral part of the textured soundscapes. The track persists in its dragging intensity, a sprawling caustic engagement intent on corruption.
The first single from the album Why Don’t You Love Me follows sending a wash of electro warmth over the already open wounds, its coarse eighties pop elegance smouldering within the astringent guitar weaves and pulsating rhythms. The track is like an industrial update of something by Fad Gadget, the shadows deeper and more abrasive but cored by an infectious pop spine of melodic light. It is a welcoming pull into the album, arguably the least venomous and violent creature on the release but still a thoroughly sinister and intimidating companion.
Love Me To Death continues the sonic burning, its exquisite ebbs and flows of scorching energy mesmeric whilst From Dusk Till Dawn is a sprawling vehemence which sucks away any resistance before it even raises its temperature and energy such the malevolence within. Both leave one lost in the world created, thoughts wrapped in a deathly landscape which makes Silent Hill feel like a trip to the beach.
The remaining tracks further and complete the hellacious consumption, Kir Der Nacht a heavy crunching rub defusing the senses and Memento Mori a track which bounces in on a hopeful vibe before being smothered by the towering intensity and oppressive sounds. It is a great blend of electronic strokes and dehabilitating metallic muscle. The title track is a rotting attrition for the senses, its friction scarring and almost unbearable but ultimately a sweet exhaustive undermining of life.
Closing with the excellent instrumental House On Haunted Hill with only samples to bring a narrative to the intensive sonic manipulation of the senses, Zombichrist is an impressive industrial violation to immerse within, a tremendous release which drags you into a world of ravenous dead bodies and life extinguishing atmospheres whilst leaving a glow of total satisfaction.
On October 13th, the release day of Zombichrist, Virus Cycle will be celebrating its unleashing by holding an open forum web chat at http://www.stickam.com/viruscycle. You may ask them questions during the web chat or you may send them to email@example.com. There will also be 3 signed copies of Zombichrist to give away, with everyone who sends in a question entered in to a draw to win one of the albums at the end of the web chat.
Zombichrist is released on October 13th 2012 and is available through www.viruscycle.com or through Bluntface Records on www.bluntfacerecords.com
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