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Long before Rob Zombie began releasing his techno-industrial solo albums, he had a real metal band, albeit a strange one. White Zombie is that band and though their music isn't really intricate, it's one of the strangest experiences you can get with a metal band.
The most difficult part about reviewing this album is determining the genre under which to classify it. A lot of the the riffs have a distinctive groove metal feel, but with 80's sounding guitars rather than downtuned modern sludge. Other riffs are distinctly doom metal, with a bluesy edge. Add a nice psychedelic atmosphere with tons of samples from old horror films and sound effects and you get one of the craziest combinations of metal around. This is also before the industrial influences that are apparent on the followup, Astro Creep 2000, and Zombie's solo albums.
Zombie's vocals are rough and gritty and just plain cool, which makes up for the lyrics. The lyrics are mostly nonsensical and trippy, designed to be cool to listen to rather than to understand. Zombie doesn't take himself seriously, therefore what we have is a fun, lighthearted metal album for all occasions. And with songs like "Welcome to Planet Motherfucker/Psycholic Slag," you know these boys were on some strong shit when they were writing songs.
As far as the songs ago, they're pretty varied in tone and tempo, but they're all generally heavy, lead filled, and energetic. Minus the three short intro tracks, all the songs are fun to listen to. The guitar work isn't going to blow your mind, but the riffs are very cool and punctual, fitting right into the songs very naturally. The lead work is nothing to shit yourself over, but again, it fits well. The drums and bass make for a nice rhythm section to carry the album's groove from beginning to end, and some of the drum fills and bass lines are quite intricate.
It took me a few listens to get into this, but it was worth it. The album is trippy, heavy, and overall just a really fun listen.
Thunder Kiss '65