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HMS Music Spotlight

Another band that I hold near and dear to my heart is back with release number four. They are known as Zombie Death Stench and when HMS first got off the ground, the Stench was one of the first bands who called upon us for a review. We were more than happy to oblige them, since they are all about horror and metal. I really dug their previous album “The Coming Bloodbath” which came out in 2013, so here we are two years after the fact and another steaming pile of rotten flesh is in the offering.

Now I mean that in a good way and when you have the boldness of naming your band Zombie Death Stench you better deliver the goods. Obviously this band can get down and nasty with sounds of death and black metal stylings - running the full gamut on “Infected”. There are heaping amounts of death, thrash and black metal – so what’s not to like about that!

For my money’s worth though they remind me of a combination of Deceased, Rigor Mortis and Cannibal Corpse – surely an alchemical mix of some of the nastiest sounds you’ll ever hear on a record! On Infected though, the opening number begins with a fading heartbeat, then que the ominous soundtrack music to set things up. This is quickly followed by the guttural pounding of “Godless Dawn” to start us off right and then leading into the frantic pacing of “Lords of the Undead”. The vocals are vicious and relentless, just the right tone to get your blood pumping and fists pounding.

What I find titillating about the Stench is their penchant for gory subjects, immortalized with descriptive lyrics and propelled by the sheer bloodlust of it all. Take for instance the catchy “Boneless Grave” complete with groove and predatory attitude – sort of similar to early White Zombie. Then the colossal tones of “Warbeast” assault your eardrums, often reminding me of Rigor Mortis and I think this is a fair comparison.

There’s definitely a punky/Misfits vibe going on with “A Night to Dismember” and when we get to “Lovecraft Song” I am completely blown away. First of all I am a huge fan of HP and to have a fully realized song that pays homage to the father of Cthulhu is tops in my books. The title track “Infected” roars into life next and the range of homicidal vocals propels the song like a nonstop meat grinder! There’s tons of harmony layered into the track, including jazz and thrash overtones; mixed together like the mad Butcher appearing on the Destruction covers.

Zombie Death Stench
(Turkey Vulture Records)
Written by: Kenneth Gallant
8.5 out of 10

I swear Rigor Mortis’s Bruce Corbitt was secretly ushered into the studio to lay down some vocals because “Bloodborne” has some tasty guttural sounds so reminiscent of his singing style. I liked the number quite a bit and it helped to set up “All Hail the Great Satan” as the track to pound you into submission. Then “Nothing Sacred” slithers along at a malevolent pace, sounding like a sludgy mess, before we end off with an array of industrialized sounds and then morphing into a long drum solo for “Quarentine”. This was a bit of a headscratcher for me, just given how it’s nothing more than a drum solo recorded live and utilized as a track on the album. Personally I could have did without this track on the album, but it doesn’t hinder my enjoyment overall.

Zombie Death Stench is such an entertaining band for the style of music of they play. They have such a panache for violent and gory imagery and beautifully written lyrics that set them apart from many other bands that mix death, thrash and black metal. It’s also great that guitarist/vocalist Sean Walusko is the band’s cover artist, so you can find his art right here.

On a whole though, this is fantastic horror and metal of the highest order, and HMS is proud to have them be a part of our ever growing family!

Kenneth Gallant, HMS

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