Fetid Zombie

Label: Transcending Obscurity Records
Three similar bands: Nocturnus/The Chasm/Septic Flesh

Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Chrysopoeia
2. Conscious Rot
3. Beyond Andromeda
4. Dreamless Sleep Awaits
5. Deep in the Catacombs
6. Breath of Thanatos

Mark Riddick - Rhythm guitar, bass, synth, effects
Ralf Hauber - Vocals
Chris Monroy - Vocals
Clare Webster - Vocals
Josh Fleischer - Rhythm guitar
Jamie Whyte - Lead guitar
James Malone - Lead guitar, synth
Malcolm Pugh - Lead guitar
Toby Knapp - Lead guitar

Holy Destroyer (2013)
Drink from the Chalice of Gore (EP 2013)
Grotesque Creation (2015)
Epicedia (2016)
Remnants of Life (EP 2018)
Death Covenant (EP 2019)



Released 2021-07-30
Reviewed 2021-11-07

transcending obscurity

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Mark Riddick might be most known for his artworks that is covering many black- and death metal albums, but he is not only a graphic artist as he does music too. He has several albums in many projects, and Fetid Zombie is one of those projects. This moniker has been around since the last decade with the debut album released in 2013, and since then there has been quite a few releases where most of them are splits but a few albums and EPs as well. Transmutations is the name of this new effort and it has a pretty simple yet effective artwork, hard not to identify what style of music to expect.

And the art is correct, it is classic death metal with the classic guttural growls and other elements. But there are some more interesting elements too, some soprano vocals, some more ethereal and atmosphere editions give the album more depth than your everyday death metal album. Still, don’t expect anything but the classic as that is what you will hear, the growls, the average death metal production, the familiar sounds, the spicier additions are there but don’t really change anything. It is a typical death metal album with six tracks and a sensible playing time.

Transmutations is a good album, but it is also a tad on the duller side considering the fact that the guttural growling that is the singing style of the death metal genre is almost impossible to make interesting. And it is the same here, the guttural stuff starts feeling dull quite quickly and repeat listens don’t help. The few atypical additions are too few to raise this album to higher levels, and eventually I cannot help but feeling a bit bored with it. Kind of like death metal tends to be, it is usually good when the album doesn’t produce a headache, and this doesn’t – it is probably above average for the genre.

Death metal fans will see it slightly different, and for them I wouldn’t be surprised if they are saying excellent or something in that area. Some people can stand boredom much better than I can, some even like it, and it is great that we are different and that some see brutal excellence where I see as the sonic equivalent of paint drying. This is better than the pain drying stuff, but not the growls – why can’t anyone make great growls? Besides those dull growls Transmutations is an enjoyable album, death metal fans should not miss it.