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Zombie Apocalypse - This Is A Spark Of Life (Cover Artwork)

Zombie Apocalypse

Zombie Apocalypse: This Is A Spark Of LifeThis Is A Spark Of Life (2003)
Indecision Records

Reviewer Rating: 4


Contributed by: boldredlettersboldredletters
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Wow. Forget that this band features members of one of the most influential metalcore bands of the nineties. Forget that lately hardcore seems to be synonymous with five minute songs about backstabbing, scene division, or ex girlfriends; forget strategically placed, formulaic breakdowns. Just .
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Wow.

Forget that this band features members of one of the most influential metalcore bands of the nineties. Forget that lately hardcore seems to be synonymous with five minute songs about backstabbing, scene division, or ex girlfriends; forget strategically placed, formulaic breakdowns.

Just put on this disc, turn up the volume, and prepare to rock.

When I first heard the members of Shai Hulud were in a side project entitled "Zombie Apocalypse" with the vocalist from try.fail.try, I thought it was a joke. Then I heard the mp3 for "Bastard Shit Bastard."

The excellent guitar work of Shai Hulud is apparent on this disc; the vocals are the result of both Matt Fox and Matt Fletcher as well as Ronen of t.f.t., and they carry the same poetic and thematic elements of the Hulud, albeit much shorter. (quick side rant: I find it really funny that a lot of people on this site call Matt Fox's lyrics "pretentious" simply because they address complex themes in verse form with good diction, while they praise albums whose lyricists decide to write obscure 'stream of conscious' songs whom noone will ever be able to interpret as anything more than gibberish) Regardless of whether or not you liked Shai Hulud, it is undeniable that "Hearts Once Nourished on Hope and Compassion" was an oft-imitated and highly influential release in the mid-to-late nineties. "That Within Blood Ill-Tempered" also proved that hardcore can be lyrically diverse and still pack a powerful punch, and the tradition continues with ZA, as the theme i first interpreted to be a joke is in fact a relevant metaphor for society.

Examples: Those who fear judgement fear only themselves; a forged existence. But when the end comes - those who march on will be the ones who used hope as a weapon. So we embrace fear - march on to victory. - "March on to Victory" We sit transfixed in mesmerized delight. Hypnotized, manipulated, we're grabbing everything in sight. Our fingernails are bleeding from beneath. We smile so vacantly - we grin and show our rotting teeth. Eating the remains of the meaning that we seek, the substitution of illusion leaves us cowardly and meek. We sit transfixed. -"The Dead in the Queue"

So the relation between Shai Hulud and Zombie Apocalypse rests not so much in a similar sound but in unavoidable similarities due to the talent of those involved. The biggest difference lies in the tempo: "...Spark of Life" rips through 10 tracks, 8 of which are songs, in 11 minutes. This disc is brutal; it will beat you over the head, not in a "chugga chugga" way. The short songs are incredibly complex and feel very complete, considering a few are less than :30 seconds; the longer songs are very well strung together on progressive guitar lines and varied drumming.

"This is a Spark of Life" is a breath of fresh air in the stagnant world of hardcore, metalcore, whatever you choose to call it. Take it from a devotee of hardcore who is tired of bands who spend more effort on their wardrobe than their message. I don't know if everyone will like this; but for me, it certainly only makes me look forward to the full length, and hopefully to future tours. I guess that's some of the highest praise any EP can get.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Converge - Axe to FallSelf Defense Family - SincerelyTrap Them - Seizures in Barren PraiseArchitects [UK] - Hollow CrownAFI - Very Proud of YaAFI - Shut Your Mouth and Open Your EyesPulling Teeth - Martyr ImmortalAlexisonfire - CrisisPulling Teeth - Paranoid Delusions / Paradise IllusionsPaint It Black - Surrender [7 inch]

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (September 6, 2004)

cd is amazing

shai hulud were ehh

zombie apocalypse are incredible

Anonymous (November 19, 2003)

this shit is amazing. i have super respect for matt fox for carrying on his sound. he is original. when i heard of a side project of hulud, i didnt know what to expect, but this EP deserves a full 10. it delivers a message just like hulud except it doesnt take as long as hulud did. zombie apocalypse rips you a new asshole.

Anonymous (October 22, 2003)

this record is insane. Zombie Apocalypse has managed to do in less than eleven minutes what most bands can't accomplish in their whole careers. Shitty Trustkill and Victory bands, take note.

Anonymous (October 20, 2003)

It's good.....definitely they have potential. I just was hoping for more from a band with a name so cool. But, like I said, still great....regular rotation for me.

funkisdead (October 19, 2003)

i like this a lot.
forty- i knew you'd be the first to post under this, as soon as i saw it!
i think you'll like it.

Anonymous (October 19, 2003)

i feel the need to correct the reviewer on a couple of points, as someone who knows a good deal about zombie apocalypse (a ZA insider!). First, the lyrics (including all the ones you quoted) are almost all written by Ronin from t.f.t - and if you look close, you will see that they are in fact quite different than what Fox writes - way different if you really examine. as for the vocals, again, Ronin is the main vocalist, everyone else pretty much did backups.

Anonymous (October 19, 2003)

I have never heard a band say "Slit my wrists, my girlfriend dumped me". Stop listening to high school bands.

Anonymous (October 18, 2003)

I have yet to order this album yet, but I love Shai Hulud.

As far as the "what of the children" line, to the person below me, have you read the rest of the song? It's a lot more meainingful and thoughtful than "Slit my wrists, my girlfriend dumped me" bullshit that plagues so many mall core, trend core, annoying ass hardcore bands.

aubin (October 18, 2003)

I don't think Matt's lyrics are pretentious; they are, admittedly, pretty well written. I do think they're a tad melodramatic though. I'm sorry but when I heard "what of the children" I nearly started laughing.

boldredletters (October 17, 2003)

i was trying to present the idea that while the parallels can still be drawn, zombie apocalypse is still capable of blowing you away if you have never heard of Shai Hulud. but i still thought that comparisons would be useful to describe their sound...

Anonymous (October 17, 2003)

Your review starts with "Forget that this band features members of one of the most influential metalcore bands of the nineties," and then you go on to compare them to Shai Hulud throughout the rest of the review....hrm...

Anonymous (October 17, 2003)

every band should be called "zombie apocalypse"

Anonymous (October 17, 2003)

This is fucking brilliant.

-bryan styles

Anonymous (October 17, 2003)

I need to get an account on this thing, but this is one of my favorite releases of the year.

Josh

ramo (October 17, 2003)

i keep looking at the cover and it reminds me of that game "zombies ate my neighbors". oh well. i should receive the ep by next week.

Ramo

FortyMinutesWest (October 17, 2003)

"quick side rant: I find it really funny that a lot of people on this site call Matt Fox's lyrics "pretentious" simply because they address complex themes in verse form with good diction, while they praise albums whose lyricists decide to write obscure 'stream of conscious' songs whom noone will ever be able to interpret as anything more than gibberish"

Preach on.

I've meaning to order this one, good review.

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