White Zombie: The Long Wait Is Over

For more than a year, White Zombie fans have been waiting, almost impatiently, for a new album, the third sequel in the White Zombie sci-fi/horror B-movie series.

In 1992 White Zombie instilled fear in millions of parents across the country by unleashing its hell-raising, multi-platinum “La Sexorcisto: Devil Music Vol. 1.”

Three years is, indeed, a long time to go without a new release. However, the lengthy lapse between albums wasn’t the result of laziness or a lack of inspiration on the band’s part. It nearly two years with that album - eight years overall - to finally break into the mainstream.

At first, the group’s album went virtually ignored. “La Sexorcisto,” with its cartoonish illustrations, was considered more of a novelty than a serious piece of music.

Tours with Anthrax and Danzig, though, won the band an initial following. But it was two individuals by the names of Beavis and Butthead who really led to the band’s success. Being called “huh, huh, cool” lifted the horrific “La Sexorcisto” to platinum.

In an effort to keep the momentum going, White Zombie embarked on a headline tour of its own, which came to Spokane last February.

Once that tour was over, the four ghouls that comprise the group - vocalist Rob Zombie, bassist Sean Yseult, guitarist J. and new, former Testament drummer John Tempesta - entered the studio and began work on a new album.

The zombie-fied followers were rewarded this spring with White Zombie’s third long-player “Astro Creep: 2000 - Songs of Love, Destruction and Other Synthetic Delusions of the Electric Head.”

Yet another horrific expedition into White Zombie’s disturbing, psychotic world of musical mayhem, “Astro Creep 2000” ranks as the band’s best album for many reasons.

The recording flourishes with baiting mechanical rhythms, crushing grooves, supercharged vocals and brash lyrics.

White Zombie, considered a metal band, built “Astro Creep 2000” with a sharp industrial edge, preventing songs from becoming conventional heavy metal episodes. The result: Ministry meets Metallica.

And by employing danceable rhythms, the kind often heard in underground dance clubs, White Zombie’s new record nods somewhat to Nine Inch Nails.

“Astro Creep 2000” also stands as White Zombie’s most musically diverse album. Some songs contain tribal arrangements and chanting, resulting in a sound that is both exotic and mysterious.

Fans have already been taken by the new Zombie album. Since its release, it hasn’t left the Top 10. “Astro Creep 2000” has already sold in excess of 1 million units.

What took “La Sexorcisto” more than two years to accomplish has taken “Astro Creep 2000” only weeks.

Supporting the group on its national tour are two bands, Babes in Toyland and the Melvins, that fit right in sonically with White Zombie.

The two bands, both extremely hard and dissonant, lie on the fringe of heavy metal and punk rock.

Minneapolis’ Babes in Toyland toiled in relative obscurity from the time it formed in 1987 to 1993, when it joined the Lollapalooza tour.Hopefully, with the band’s newest offering, “Nemesisters,” recorded by a man largely responsible for shaping the current Minneapolis’ sound, Tim Mac, Babes in Toyland will find success.

The Melvins have been trailblazing grunge rock since 1984.

Like the now-extinct Flipper, the Melvins changed punk rock, which during the early ‘80s was becoming vastly swifter, by slowing it down. The resulting unkempt sounds coined the term grunge.

xxxx White Zombie Location and time: Spokane Convention Center, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $20

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