Zombi takes first steps to promising solo career
After Pittsburgh based progressive retro soundscape duo Zombi gained some well earned exposure with their sophomore Relapse Records release Surface To Air (The follow up to 2004's Cosmos) last year, keyboardist/bassist Steve Moore has decided to step out on his own and release his debut full length album The Henge. Entirely self written, performed, produced and mastered over a nine month period, The Henge truly fits under the solo banner. But fans needn't be concerned about the direction Moore has taken on his first solo outing, because even without the aid of his Zombi collaborator Tony 'A.E.' Paterra (Drummer/keyboardist), The Henge is still very much rooted within the same realm.
Describing a Zombi album is not an easy task, and the same can be said for The Henge. The experimental instrumental aspects of Zombi are still very much present throughout Moore's solo album, with the overall feel of the album entirely resting in the mind of the listener. Although somewhat similar, there are some significant differences between the two musical projects. You could say that Moore's solo outing sees the keyboards taking on a greater role to create a progressive/soundtrack soundscape that builds on dark and moody atmospherics. Part science fiction and part horror soundtrack, the five minute Introduction opens up the album in a foreboding manner with the underpinning keyboard work creating an atmosphere of deep space (Aided with the simple chords that are placed over the top from time to time), but with a decidedly darker tone than what you would expect.
Drums add a very different feel to the follow up track Infinite Resignation. The up tempo nature of the percussion is enhanced by the uplifting and repetitive loop of the keyboards, while the centrepiece The Henge/Ascension takes on a far more sinister edge, with the subtle guitar work around the middle half of the song, and the heavier efforts toward the tail end only adding to the tense and macabre feel of the song.
The haunting melancholy piano tones within Dead Tide earmarks the song as one of the album's more beautifully constructed numbers (Not to mention one of my personal favourites), leaving the sprawling fifteen minute Zombi sounding epic Cepheid to close the number. There's no denying that with Zombi, Moore has carved out a unique niche for himself within the progressive scene over the last five years. But with the release of The Henge, it's safe to say that Moore is more than ready to step out on his own, with the resulting album sounding every bit as interesting, and rewarding as his main project.
(Relapse Records/Riot! Entertainment)