I first became aware of Zombiefication's existence last year when I heard their "Reaper's Consecration" EP. It was 5 tracks of Mexican death metal that sounded a lot more Swedish than anything, but regardless or origins, showed that the devilish duo from south of the border are a legit band and not just another generic, carbon-copy of Entombed and the like. It's been less than a year since that release and already the band has hammered out a new full-length in "At the Caves of Eternal." This new record is a massive improvement from last year's EP in just about every facet of their sound, making for another super heavyweight death metal record in the 21st century.
What immediately distinguishes Zombiefication from the hundreds of today's pretenders, is the memorable atmosphere of their music. It becomes instantly clear once the title track opens with a bone-chilling clean guitar sequence that commands the listener's attention, before the song escalates into a flurry of wicked death metal. Sinister melodies weave their way through every track, while twisted tremolos linger behind damn-near every riff, never giving the listener any reprieve from the dark aura. It doesn't matter if the main riff is nothing more than a few powerchords, there's sure to be some tremolo riffage in the background (which begs the question - how do they write so many of them?) Mr. Hitchcock's vocals are the final layer for the band's haunting sound, as they're relatively similar to a young Matt Karki (though there's also some hardcore influence in there too, not unlike a band like Skinfather) who bellows over the vile music with equally horrifying shouts.
Throughout all of the melodies and other atmospheric tendencies of "At the Caves of Eternal," there is the quality riffage and rhythm section that drives the undead machine known as Zombiefication. Crushing mid-paced moments are a guarantee given the style of music that the duo has chosen to create, and they come in abundance with tracks like "Passage of Darkness" and "In the Shadowed Garden" being notable examples of said pummeling. Songs like "Disembodied Souls" and "In the Mist" reach faster tempos that are just as punishing as the band's slower, heavier moments. Ultimately, Zombiefication has made a monumental statement with their sophomore full-length, a record that will undoubtedly find its way onto many year-end lists (and hopefully get the band some much-deserved exposure). It's also placed them amongst today's underground death metal elite, a very exclusive group that's about to be leveled with the Mexican death metal excellence of "At the Caves of Eternal."
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"At the Caves of Eternal"
"In the Mist"
"In the Mist"
"In the Gallery of Laments"
4.5/5 or 90%.