Preface: Album released in Europe, 2012 and released in the U.S., 2013
Zombified is a death metal/grindcore act that resides in Västervik, Sweden. The band has been active since 2006 and since their creation, has released only two full-length albums. Despite existing in a scene born of underground demo tapes and other musical rarities, Zombified have hit the ground running by skipping over demos and EP's all together. Despite only being familiar with R. Karlsson's (bass, vocals) previous Swedish acts (notably Edge of Sanity, Pan.Thy.Monium., Darkified, and Scar Symmetry, to name a few), I was introduced to this band a matter of months ago. Upon listening to Carnage Slaughter and Death, I was not surprised to hear a musically solid album, but beyond that, nothing on this record really captivated my interest.
As I mentioned above, the music on this album is solid. Every single track is composed very well and every single track embodies the Swedish sound, style, and song structure to a tee. After running down the album a few times, I came to hear much more death metal influence rather than grindcore influence (personally, I am confused how the grindcore tag applies to this record, but I suppose that is something up for debate). However, good musical compositions that adhere to a metal scene's stereotypes verbatim cannot captivate a listeners imagination by itself alone. Despite the album having the right sound, the right style, and good song compositions, the album lacks songs that jump out and grab the listener. Because the album contains no tracks like this, each song passes by the listener just as background music does in a supermarket.
The production on this record exemplifies the Swedish death metal sound and style to a tee. At times, I wish the album took on a rawer, dirtier sound as opposed to the cleaner, more produced sound. However, this is only a personal preference to how I like my death metal. Personal bias aside, this album sounds great and it is immediately identifiable with the Swedish death metal scene.
The drumming on this album is nothing special, but is by no means poor. J. Johansson does a great job holding the songs together and he plays with good command of his instrument. He pulls off no insane drumming milestones, yet he does not falter in playing solid drum parts. Zombified is Johanssons' first metal band as well, so a congratulations to him on holding his own amongst Swedish death metal veteran R. Karlsson!
Overall, Zombified have released a solid album. The Swedish sound, style, and song compositions are showcased in typical Swedish style. However, because of the lack of standout songs on this album, it falls into the category of background music. Even with good production and good drumming, I personally would rather listen to R. Karlssons' past work in bands such as Edge of Sanity, Darkified, and Pan.Thy.Monium (I'll pass on Scar Symmetry). However, if this album strikes a particularly strong chord in you, I encourage you to support the band with the links provided below.