Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Zombie Lake-Plague of the Undead

Iron Shield Records

With "The Walking Dead" counting down it's episodes until it's winter-time slumber why not take the time to check out this zombie-themed act with me? The humble beginnings of Zombie Lake, which likely takes it's moniker from the 1981 horror film of the same name, can be traced back in 2003 when guitarist/bassist Derek Schilling (Neglect/Pyschomanthium/Arkham 13) struck up a friendship with original Protector vocalist Martin Missy. The story goes that Derek, after sending a e-mail off a to a tribute site for the German thrash metal act, actually got a response back from Martin himself and the two discovered that they had very similar tastes as far as music goes. After swapping e-mails back and forth for awhile and further cementing their friendship, the pair decided to form an international, no-frills (but plenty of kills!), raw thrash metal band. To that end drummer Anthony Dalessio (Arkham 13) was recruited and together the three musicians ended up recording the 3-track "Metal for the Masses" demo in 2005. While the actual music on "Metal for the Masses" was apparently recorded back in 1999 (with the Protector front-man just adding his vocals to the mix) it was still more then enough to make an impact on the underground metal circuit as this new album can attest to.  As we turn our attentions now to modern day and Zombie Lake's "Plague of the Undead" we find that this U.S./Sweden connection, which now features the insane lead guitar skills of Ryan Lipinsky (Serpentine Path/Unearthly Trance/The Howling Wind), has a deal with Iron Shield Records and this aggressive debut-album that is (lyrically) all about the living dead while musically it's "stab you in the eye with a splinter of wood''* old-school thrash! Unlike the Nazi zombie cheesefest film that this bunch took their name from ( a "horror movie" that has tons more nudity in then actual gore) this Zombie Lake is plenty mean and vicious! Unless you knew ahead of time it's not likely that you would be able to catch on to the fact that the music of "Plague of the undead" was recorded in New York while the vocals were recorded in Sweden. This very much sounds like a "everybody was in the same place at the same time" kind of album from a band that should be, if justice was a real thing in this rotting world we live in,  more then just another another metal "project"! When you have Martin Missy of Protector fame (who sounds freakin' fantastic here!) cutting loose with a group of maniacal metalheads on what amounts to underground thrash how can you go wrong? Call me crazy, but I actually prefer this release to Protector's latest as Zombie Lake has more of a 1990 something, tape trading with fellow thrash fanatics from way across the pound, vibe to it. Its a album where you could just picture a bunch of friends jamming together in a small studio while everything is captured to tape for posterity. Due to released at the beginning of December on both CD and LP, with the LP version coming packaged with a poster from the sounds of it, "Plague of the Undead"  is for lovers of old-school thrash metal and those of us who just can't seem to ever get enough of the raw appeal of metal's underground scene!

*Scene from the movie Zombie!

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