Monday 25 March 2024


For those familiar with the long-running TV show 'The Walking Dead' and its various spin-offs, you'll know that zombies often appear in hordes. Typically, these hordes are merely a collection of shambling, decaying humanity whose sole purpose is to feast on the flesh of the unturned. Today, however, we present a horde of a different sort. Let us introduce you to Zombie Hunger, an ensemble comprising Patient Zero on vocals, Coffin Queen on bass, Graveborn on rhythm guitar, Wormfeast on lead guitar, and Skineater on drums, an Australian outfit with a flair for delivering old-school doom tinted with an element of theatrical shock-rock, as is showcased on their self-titled debut release 'Zombie Hunger'.

The instrumental "Rise From Your Graves" opens up proceedings its swirling effects are joined by rhythm guitar, bass and drums in a thrumming doomic groove over which a circular guitar motif holds sway before suddenly segueing into its follow up "Zombie Children", this song a chugging proto-doomic tome that would sound Sabbath-esque if it were not for Patient Zero's distinctive vocals which for this song sit nicely at the sneery end of sinister despite, in places, bearing a remarkable similarity to The B52's Fred Schneider. Patient Zero reverts to a more traditional doomic tone for next track "Mask of Satan" with Coffin Queen, Graveborn and Skineater laying down a pulsating mid tempo proto-doom groove over which Wormfeast layers incendiary lead. "They Multiply" follows", its core tempo may be set at just a notch or two above low and slow and its atmospherics may reside at the danker end of the doom spectrum but its vocals are powerful and fiery, its lead work scorching. Things get a touch stoner-ish and bluesy for penultimate track "Coming For You", its delicious earworm riffs, powerful rhythms and searing solos are taken to a whole new level of enjoyment by an absolute peach of a vocal melody. Its back to traditional doom for final track "Death Without Rest", a song that is essential listening for any of those brought up on a diet of Reverend Bizarre, Candlemass, Count Raven and bands of that ilk, the songs delightfully dank, lurching and thundering groove is enhanced by a superbly delivered gothic flavoured vocal, the like of which has sadly become a rarity in this age of growlers and screamers. 

If you are a fan of doom, especially its earlier forms, then Zombie Hunger's self-titled debut is going to tick more boxes for you than it leaves blank. The band took their name from a Saint Vitus song and it is the spirit of Saint Vitus, along with bands like Solitude Aeturnus, Pentagram, Hidden Hand and others from that golden era of doom that informs every beat, refrain and vocal inflection of this superbly delivered album, yes it is "old school" in both feel and execution but when has "old school" ever equated to "bad school".
Check it out .... 

© 2024 Frazer Jones

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