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Belgium (Promotor) Steven Thomassen

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Since 2001, instrumental duo ZOMBI has led the charge for a modern reappraisal of progressive and electronic rock music among a younger generation. Creating a signature sound out of bass guitar, drums, and analog synthesizers – and demonstrating how to play them all simultaneously in the live setting – their taut musicianship and sterling arrangements create an unmistakable atmosphere, unifying fans of metal, indie rock, horror soundtracks, new age, and dance music, with their prog-minded brethren across the aisle. Over the years, the group has drawn inspiration from a vast assortment of musical material, ranging from soundtracks to Krautrock legends Neu! and Harmonia to the pioneering work of icons like Genesis, Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, Van Halen, and Pink Floyd, to the candy-colored sounds of italo disco and the smoky corridors of dark danse.

The group released two CD-Rs (a self-titled full-length, and a follow-up EP, Twilight Sentinel, both compiled on the VCO release The Zombi Anthology and issued separately on vinyl), attracting the attention of Relapse, who signed ZOMBI in 2004. Extensive touring before and after the release of their first two Relapse full-lengths (2004’s Cosmos and 2006’s Surface To Air) found ZOMBI embarking on nationwide dates alongside artists like The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Fucking Champs, Guapo, Isis, Trans Am, Maserati, and Don Caballero. During this time, ZOMBI was also commissioned to record original soundtracks of their own, first for filmmaker Adam Wingard’s 2003 debut feature Home Sick, and then again for Nick Palumbo’s ToeTag-anchored slasher Murder-Set-Pieces (2004).

As touring activity slowed down, ZOMBI’s musical horizons broadened in scope, both in the extreme sides of their 2009 album Spirit Animal and in 2011’s Escape Velocity, their most synth- heavy work to date (and possibly the only Relapse release to ever feature a progressive house track). As the group looked beyond the methodologies of horror-influenced prog/synthscapes (a field which was becoming more and more crowded with new participants and fans in each successive year), the ambitions of Moore and Paterra grew as well, and the two embarked on their own projects.

2013 saw all of ZOMBI’s efforts come to fruition when they were asked to open the inaugural U.S. touring dates for Italian legends Goblin. For the first live ZOMBI dates since 2007, the two dusted off their gear and exploded into action, raising the spirits of all in attendance. Goblin then upped the ante by inviting Moore to perform as part of their group as a synth player on additional dates, and both bands were both invited to play at 2015’s Roadburn festival. These instances contributed directly to the creation of ZOMBI’s latest full-length, Shape Shift. The album was self-produced by the band and recorded at Machine Age Studios in Pittsburgh, and Steve Moore’s private studio in central New York. Moore commented on the new material: “It’s a rock record – think of it as a follow-up to Surface To Air. There are no techno jams or symphonic prog fantasies. No solo track interludes. It’s dark and heavy. Live drums on every song and lots of bass guitar. We have officially moved from ‘studio project’ mode back into ‘live band’ mode.”