Abaddon magazine

Music magazine

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Review: Fetid Zombie – Transmutations

Label: Transcending Obscurity Records

Date: July 30th, 2021

While this material is being released again, a year after its initial unleashing upon the public, Fetid Zombie has released yet another split tape. Not that it is unusual for this one-man band, but it could raise some questions. Especially when it comes to an individual as busy as Mark Riddick.

On the other hand, just a provisional glance at this EP (by the way, it lasts a full thirty-five minutes), proves there is a lot this man has yet to offer. And not just as a visual artist as he is best known.

Fetid Zombie still delves within the death metal realm. It is quite obvious that the genre provides for everything Mark needs. Be it in the graphics or music. However, while the graphic department sticks to the known formula, this musical entity explores and evolves into much more that your simple pounding meatgrinder.

Mr. Riddick incorporates doom metal, traditional heavy metal and progressive metal among others. Those are just the most upfront influences. There are also some dissonant black metal touches, but just as cream to these versatile compositions. Still, wherever the music takes Fetid Zombie, it remains wrapped in the death metal cocoon. Hence, the record still packs a punch, even if there are uncommon melodies within, occasional female voices or sampling.

One does need to focus deeper in order to catch everything that is happening on “Transmutations”. The tracks are elongated for a reason. Almost six minutes on average is something impossible to make worth your while without serious diversifying. And that is done without a fault. The record holds the tension up high, keeps the weight at all times and delivers a myriad of interesting ideas throughout.

Now, “Transmutations” is lacking a hook. That might just be the biggest problem with it. Yet, it remains a very interesting record to listen to, explore and contemplate upon. Particularly because Mark was able to make a homogenous quilt out of seemingly incompatible parts. There’s a lesson to be learned within Fetid Zombie’s new record, for all the bands out there who think it is easy to mix anything and make it “a big thing”.

Recommended for both old school freaks and conquistadores of novelty metal routes.