Austin, Texas, SXSW 2005
Room 710, Saturday, March 19
Memo to the Alamo Drafthouse's Tim League: Get this band down here for Halloween. There's nobody more fitting to score a John Carpenter or Dario Argento horror classic than Zombi, a pair of Pittsburgh natives with a funereal fixation on the old Italian prog outfit Goblin, whose sole purpose was scoring horror films, primarily Argento's. Opening with a mood-setting analog wash, synth master/bassist Steve Moore and drummer/auxiliary keyman AE Paterra conjured the sounds of a thick midnight mist more horrific than even Carpenter's The Fog. Moore's popping bass frenzy came on like the undead were on his heels, while Paterra plowed behind him with a maze of Carnivalesque keyboards. Zombi's short and sweet set continued pumping out waves of fear, dread, and analog ambience like Tangerine Dream on the graveyard shift. Yet every time you came to, there was a twisted shock-rock tactic, be it heavy electro-pulse prog grooves; evil, pitch-shifted wind warps; or some vicious, synthesized Throbbing Gristle-like brutality that shook the 710 stage to its foundations. Kudos to Relapse Records for pumping out genre-crossing fare like Zombi debut Cosmos and for spotlighting them on this showcase. It's not just metal for breakfast anymore.