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Zombi - Direct Inject (Relapse)

22 March 2024

Zombi has always had its feet in two camps: electronic soundtrack music a la Tangerine Dream, Goblin, and, especially, John Carpenter; and seventies progressive rock/fusion, like Camel, FM, and Return to Forever. Direct Inject, the Pittsburgh duo’s seventh full-length, may well be the most pure distillation of their vision yet.

Keyboardist/bassist/guitarist/saxophonist Steve Moore and drummer/keyboardist A.E. Paterra focus all their many influences into a singular wave of analog instrumentals, combining lush atmospherics with compelling melodies. The bass-heavy “Bodies in the Flotsam” and “The Post Atomic Horror” rumble and seethe, while the sax-frosted “Sessuale II” and percussionless “Sessuale I” soar and soothe. “Insurmountable Odds” and “So Mote It Be” bring a heavy guitar influence to turn the pieces into rock anthems minus the irritation of lyrics; “Kamichi & Sandy” rides a throbbing sequencer into a mysterious cloud of wonder. Every song sounds like part of one of those soundtracks to an eighties sci-fi or horror film that far outshines the cinematics it’s meant to accompany. Direct Inject is sumptuous, raw, bombastic, and utterly brilliant.