Zombi – Direct Inject

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It’s been 4 years since ‘2020’, synth rock duo Zombi’s latest regular album dedicated to that doomed year of the pandemic. Now, that doesn’t mean they’ve been lazy or took a sabbatical or anything. They’ve actually been quite prolific under the guise of Zombi and friends. This offshoot incarnation could best be described as the imaginary house band of the Zombi Loveboat. I kid you not. With a range of covers and a slew of revolving guest appearances, they took on sugar sweet, velveteen tunes like “Captain of Her Heart’ and 'Eye in the Sky'. Moreover, these were executed rather faithfully to the originals and not just for laughs, even though you can clearly hear they were having loads of fun with it.

Come 2024 Zombi is back to their old tricks, doing what they do best, which is creating vintage sounding scores for movies that could have been made in the late seventies or early eighties, but were never actually made, of course.

In case this is totally untrodden ground for you, a short recap: Zombi- and no, it’s not a spelling mistake on either my side or the band’s- takes its name from the Italian title of George A. Romero’s classic horror flick ‘Dawn of the Dead’.

The soundtrack for that film was written by an Italian band called Goblin, an eccentric prog rock collective that was instrumental in giving the horror genre in the seventies its instantly recognizable signature sound. For instance, Claudio Simonetti, the main man behind Goblin, is also responsible for the soundtrack’s of Dario Argento’ ‘Deep Red’ and ‘Suspiria’, 2 films that any self-respecting horror fanatic should have at least seen.

Those musical scores are the main inspiration behind Zombi’s output, which Steve Moore and Anthony Pattera started up after the turn of the century, with a career highlight being for instance 2011s  ‘Escape Velocity’. Like Goblin theirs is a purely instrumental affair with Moore’s bass and synth lines dancing frivolously on Pattera’s drumming.

Stating that the duo evolves dramatically from one record over the other would be a bit of an overstatement. The two of them has clearly found their niche-hell, they had a good hand in creating it- and they will valiantly refuse to deviate from it. That doesn’t mean that every track sounds like the other, though. Each track has its own distinct vibe, even if it always plays with the same three ingredients of bass, drums and synths.

‘Direct Inject’ starts off quite energetically with the title track which could have been the theme of an 80s action series, very synth laden. ‘So Mote it Be’ is more menacing; Like you’re looking over your shoulder during the whole track. It picks up a bit during then, running away?

‘Bodies in the Flotsam’ keeps the claustrophobic mood going with brooding bass and eerie drones. ‘Kamichi & Sandy’ is slightly more upbeat, even diligently working its way up to a cathartic climax.

With the next one, they’re going in on a whole other angle. The smooth, silky sax on ‘Sessuale II’ has a film noir nightclub vibe where you’re smooching up to Jessica Rabbit. Not sure why number two comes before number one, but hey, if you gotta go, you gotta go.

The low droning undertone on ‘Improvise Adapt Overcome’ has me watching out for the Terminator, rushing me to the ‘Post-Atomic horror’. No 50s style fallout boy for me, though, but hammering basslines instead.

‘Insurmountable Odds’ slowly ebbs out of existence, as if the song itself decided to give up and seamlessly goes over into the finale of this retro rollercoaster with the John Carpenter homage ‘Sessuale I’.

Roll end credits.


  • Music / Songwriting 9/10
  • Vocals / Lyrics 10/10
  • Mix / Production 8/10
  • Artwork & Packaging 9/10
  • Originality 8/10

No one still makes vintage synth soundtracks like these anymore, at least not as authentic as Zombi.

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