For whatever reason, we here at Last Rites didn’t cover Zombiefication’s 2010 debut, Midnight Stench, so let me bring you up to speed: Zombiefication is a Mexican death metal band that sounds like a Swedish death metal band. That’s pretty much the gist of this, the defining characteristic, and just like that, you’re all caught up…. Now that you know what you’re dealing with, let’s compare and contrast…
Midnight Stench was an acceptable-at-best start, one that was a long stretch from the top of the corpse pile. The power of that full-length was lessened by a dearth of memorable riffs and a competent-but-boring performance, by the absence of any above-average tunes or moments remotely approaching the heights of the classics that Stench was aping. It was a tribute, ultimately forgettable, and its biggest talking point was its geographic point of origin in relation to its geographic point of inspiration. Even then, Stench stood behind the vast majority of the current onslaught of Sunlight sound-alikes. In some ways Reaper’s Consecration is a step up, an improvement, and in others, it still falters noticeably.
Consecration’s biggest improvement is in simply honing in on the band’s limited strengths, mostly by keeping things moving – the debut wandered through forty minutes; the shifts in tempo that were designed to give it dynamics only highlighted that the band is best in one dimension, when ripping into their Dismember-ed death and aimless in their plodding doomier minutes. Reaper focuses upon the uptempo, with some slower moments injected into tracks to break matters up, but never to the detriment of the EP’s direction. But even then, at only five songs, Consecration feels longer – the average song length is above five minutes, and tunes like “Deathrides” and “Necrohell” simply cannot support that length. Shave a minute or a bit more off of those, and the songs would likely hold up, but drag them out, and they drag on too long.
The album’s best tune is “I Am The Reaper,” which can support its own length, a Swedeath rager that succeeds through some decent riffs and by being better than its peers, even as it incorporates the disparate tempos and riff changes that Zombiefication struggles to place elsewhere. There’s a fire in that track not as evident in the others, a coming-together of all the appropriate factors that shows that Zombiefication could be more than Midnight Stench or most of Reaper’s Consecration would indicate. Closing track “We Stand Alone” is similar in scope and quality, shifting tempos and riffs in a better pattern than all but one track of that which precedes it.
Zombiefication is a band still developing. Despite the corrections of many of Midnight’s mistakes, Reaper’s Consecration is still a pretty average offering that hints at better days – improvements have been made, but there’s room for more. At the end of the day, even with all this, you’ll still need to snort a good amount of bath salts if you want to get fully zombie-fied.