Categorized | Music, Reviews

Billzilla

Zombie Week: Nox Arcana’s Zombie Influx Review

Posted on December 7, 2010 by Billzilla


Available at DriveThruHorror.com

    Zombies: the kids love ’em. Now you can have your very own zombie film soundtrack album thanks to the good folks at Nox Arcana; their Zombie Influx album is just the ticket to put a person in a brain-chomping mood.

    All kidding aside, Nox Arcana has done some great work producing albums of evocative background music suitable for gaming and often inspirational for writing – whether fiction, gaming adventures or scenarios, or what have you. With Zombie Influx, Jeff Hartz of Buzz Works and Joseph Vargo of Nox Arcana explore new musical avenues of horror.

    There is a fairly solid level of cohesion at work on this album’s 19 tracks; however, many of the cuts do not necessarily evoke zombie sort of horror. Most evocative here of a mob of zombies wandering aimlessly in search of food are the tracks “Ground Zero” and “Flesh Eaters,” with a chorus of hoarse, moaning voices winding through the opening strains of both. The title cut, last on the album, seems to contain some sound sampling – from, among other sources, the film “Night of the Living Dead” if I’m not mistaken, and does so to good effect, though the choice of looping phrases to repeat them several times in quick succession is more annoying than effective here.

    A number of the cuts – notably “Satellite Radiation” “Post Mortem” and “The Pain of Dying” – would be highly suitable as background for any sci-fi situation, including Space Opera. In fact, I found them reminiscent of the incidental music found in Sci-Fi televisions series like Babylon-5. Likewise the track “Armageddon” reminded me of music from John Carpenter’s feature film “Big Trouble in Little China”

    There was one aspect of the album that bothered me: Several tracks – “Defcon Six,” “Warning Signs,” “The Panic Spreads” and “Ravenous” – use a voice reading an emergency broadcast-type message over the top of the melody. The voice sounds hollow and echo-y, more like some random guy in a studio rather than an official person making a statement over the airwaves. The wording of the script seems to invoke fifties emergency alert broadcasts, but the quality of the sound mixing doesn’t compliment that effect. For this reason, these cuts fall flat.

    Several tracks are ones I would be happy add to mixes or playlists regardless of the situation: “Creeping Death,” “Doomsday” and “Dead Run” can all stand on their own musically without needing to exist within the framework of the overall album’s theme.

    This is a solid album even if the title isn’t catchy. Most of it wouldn’t stand up to listening as other than background/mood music, though some cuts are strong enough to hold their own. A couple of tracks seem a bit too long, and a few just don’t stand up to much scrutiny. Taken as a package, this album achieves what it sets out to: being a decent soundtrack for gaming other other pursuits, and being interesting and varied at the same time. At a $10 price tag for the download, it’s a decent deal, and one I would take gladly.

    Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Review by Bill Bodden

      Tags | , , ,

      Print This Post

      Leave a Reply

      11 Tales of Ghostly Horror

        Monthly Newsletter Sign Up

        join our monthly mailing list
        * indicates required

        The Devil’s Night WoD SAS

        Free Devil's Night | White Wolf

        Become a Fan on Facebook!

        Reviews Wanted!

        The new Review Guidelines have been posted on the Flames Rising website. We are currently seeking a few good reviewers to help us expand our collection of horror and dark fantasy reviews. RPGs, fiction, movies, video games and more are all welcome on the site...

        What do you get out of it?

        Beyond helping out fellow Flames Rising readers by letting them know what you think of these products, we're giving away some pretty cool stuff. Regular Reviewers can earn free products to review, which is their to keep after the review is submitted to the site.

        Note: We are especially looking for folks interested in reviewing eBooks (both Fiction & Comics). We have lots of great titles in digital format and even get advance copies sometimes.

        Use the Contact Page to submit reviews or let us know if you have any questions.