TEXTUAL LAYERS OF SOUND: Throughout the course of their latest sonic journey, Liquid Crystal, Zombi, the prog/synth duo of Steve Moore and AE Paterra, delivers an expanse of sound, weaving through the melodic and foreboding with lush, textured layers of noise during this five song set. Liquid Crystal is dark and moody, a sea of sound that tips its cap to the prog world’s predecessors and contemporaries through dreamy vibes and vibrant grooves.
Opener “Mangler” is consistent and methodical, steadily building a near sense of dread with eerie atmospheric sound and progressive drum work that slowly picks up intensity as the track wears on. That methodical approach to song structure continues on the following “Chant,” which incorporates a more urgent sonicscape amid crashing cymbals. The track works as part of the larger whole, essentially working in tandem with the title track to build to a bigger crescendo, one full of wailing guitars and a greater emphasis on noisy cymbal crashes. The 11 minute plus “Turning Points” returns to the meticulous approach employed earlier on Liquid Crystal, incorporating all elements of the EP’s first three tracks and rolling them into one here. “Black Forest” is by far the album’s most uptempo track thanks to a combination of stirring leads and a synthy backdrop. The closing track of Liquid Crystal is so different from the rest of the album, though it doesn’t sound out of place at all and makes for an exciting way to end the EP.
For an EP that spends most of its time building rather than climaxing, Zombi does a pretty damn admirable job keeping things interesting across the entirety of Liquid Crystal, which is a true testament to their ability to craft an engaging sound. It’s easy to get yourself lost in Zombi’s Liquid Crystal. ~ Brian Campbell