“The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy”
Hitting record shelves on March 12th, 2021 via Nuclear Blast the latest opus from Rob Zombie offers fans a long overdue smack in the ear holes with chunky doses of rifftastic guitars, ghoulish grooves, and spooky vocals.
Musically the songs are fast, furious, and flavored with tasty guitar licks. John 5’s influence on this record is ever apparent and the Zombie band sounds like a well oiled machine.
Here’s a track by track breakdown of the entire record.
“Expanding the Head of Zed” - This 54 second intro opens the record on a spooky note and is an auditory view into the twisted mind of Mr. Rob Zombie.
“The Triumph of King Freak (A Crypt of Preservation and Superstition)” - This dark rocker sets the pace for the record; the music is mid tempo with extreme heaviness. If Black Sabbath dabbled in the world of industrial this is what they might sound like. Two minutes into the track there’s a funky breakdown which crosses genres.
“The Ballad of Sleazy Rider” - A spoken word intro leads into a wah soaked guitar intro; this groovy rocker has 70’s style with modern zombie sleaze.
“Hovering Over the Dull Earth” - This 23 second interlude gives the listener a moment of tranquility before their ears are annihilated once more.
“Shadow of the Cemetery Man” - Standard Rob Zombie groove complete with John 5’s guitar chops; this one will get the booties movin!
“A Brief Static Hum and Then the Radio Blared” - 43 seconds of mood music
“18th Century Cannibals, Excitable Morlocks and a One-Way Ticket On the Ghost Train” - Rob Zombie does a full blown shit kickin’ country song! I am NOT joking, this one is old school outlaw country and John 5’s love for old school country is clear on this song.
“The Eternal Struggles of the Howling Man” - This is one of the absolute stand out’s on the record. Fast, Careless, and Powerful, this one rocks hard and by the two minute mark the breakdown feels like you crossed over to another song because the tempo and pace change drastically.
“The Much Talked of Metamorphosis” - This two minute instrumental acoustic track is reminiscent of “Planet Caravan” by Sabbath.
“The Satanic Rites of Blacula” - Rob starts this song by telling Ginger Fish how he wants the drums played but once the song kicks in it’s a graveyard smash till the very end. This song will definitely be a crowd pleasure when Zombie can add it to his live shows.
“Shower of Stones” - 28 seconds of artful noise
“Shake Your Ass-Smoke Your Grass” - Zombie delivers a dance groove inspired rocker with this one. The central sparks for most of this record are 70’s riff rock, schlocky horror movies, and groovy drum beats.
“Boom-Boom-Boom” - This song sounds like it could have been on a Marilyn Manson record; the tone is dark, the vibe is raw, and this one has 50’s styled guitar tones played alongside electro beats.
"What You Gonna Do with That Gun Mama” - This interlude sounds like the remix of “Brick House” which Zombie recorded with Lionel Richie several years back
“Get Loose” - Don’t let the psychedelic opening fool you, this one rocks hard and the anthemic chorus will get stuck in your head fast.
“The Serenity of Witches” - the very last interlude for this record is a mellow, almost Smashing Pumpkins-ish ditty which leads into the last moments of the record.
“Crow Killer Blues” - John 5’s guitar licks sound like metallic thunder and the rhythm is tighter than your momma’s sweet ass. The song ends in a very The Doors-ish style with vibe and echo. Jim Morrison would be proud!
Hands down, this is one of Rob Zombie’s best records to date. Rob Zombie was a solo artist for years with a band of hired guns; John, Piggy, and Ginger are permanent members of the Zombie band/family and this record feels like it was recorded by a solid, cohesive unit that understands each other and compliments each other very well.
“All Knots Untied”
Released on March 5th, 2021 digitally and available at: https://nixil.bandcamp.com/releases this is the debut release from Maryland based Black Metal Monsters NIXIL.
Ambient death/black metal rhythmic noises fill this release and create a mural of darkness with macabre magic. The twin guitar attack weaves mazes which the gutteral vocals fill with evil angry groans and that's an honest assessment of what NIXIL do.
The lyrics are almost impossible to understand for the most part and to be honest it’s perfect for this band because the music isn’t upbeat, the vibe of this band is one of downtrodden gloom and finding serenity in the darkness. The core instrumentation on this record is very percussion based and the drums clearly lead the way on most tracks.
The six songs that fill this record are reminiscent of Tribulation at times and all six tracks inadvertently run together to create an almost 30+ minute long track.
Often times Black Metal acts choose a producer who doesn’t know how to capture their sound but on this record it’s all there. Recorded and mixed by J. Robbins who worked with Clutch and The Sword, he captured crisp guitar tones, loud vocals, and strong rhythm. For an independent release the production is excellent and the band sounds amazing.
“Black Earth Within” has an interesting moment where there are clean vocals and it's the only clean vocals on this record.
The Occult, Bondage, and Dreariness are clear themes on this record and after the first full listen through the clear standout track is “Unimpeded By The Weight” which offers an interesting guitar riff which sounds different from others on this record. At the four minute mark the tracks starts to sound like a pagan ritual and this leads into a super fast/heavy section in the song.
If you are a fan of ambient death/black metal Nixil is a band worth checking out. The band released a spooky video for the song "Deaths Of Our Own Design” which you can check out below.