Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Fetid Zombie - Epicedia

Whenever I fire up an album with death or black metal stylings, I’m reminded of my relatively recent conversion to metal worship.  In the incipient stages of my metal conversion I was unable to enjoy the fruits of death or black metal.  I would like to say that it was just the vocals, but I simply could not come to grips with the overall savagery of the experience.  Fortunately, with a little time and persistence I was able to embrace my inner dark side and expand my musical pallet.  That fateful embrace provided the impetus for my introduction to the splendor that is Fetid Zombie. 
Fetid Zombie is the musical brainchild of Mark Riddick.  Mr. Riddick plays guitar, bass, synth and does the drum programming as well as the vocals.  In addition to that, he brings in a host of co-collaborators to help him flesh out his sordid vision.      
Fetid Zombie’s most recent release, Epicedia, is available from Transcending Obscurity Records and is nothing short of a progressive death metal opus.  Epicedia growls, blasts and soars in equal measure.  The guitar solos on ‘Lowered Beneath’ and ‘Devour the Virtuous’ are intoxicating and provide a delicate balance to the tortured vocals and rapid fire drum blasts.  On ‘Devour the Innocent’ and ‘If the Dead Could Speak’ the drum assault continues and provides the perfect back drop to some Buckethead-approved shredding.  To the surprise of your humble scribe an acoustic guitar and synth are employed to great effect and deliver a couple of brief, tender interludes.  The result is something that is both technically excellent and accessible to those that might otherwise turn their noses up to this style of music. 
Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned metalhead or a recent metal recruit, the expansive nature of the songs combined with the ease with which Mr. Riddick melds with his co-collaborators makes for a quintessential death metal release.  Despite a gaggle of releases and a myriad of splits Epicedia easily represents Fetid Zombie’s finest work to date.   

-El Pedo Caliente

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