Album Reviews

Zombie Shaker Box – Encrypted

Released by: Headfirst Ent

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Hard Rock



Line Up:

Kirk Hulshoff – Vocals

Tomonori Sugiyama – Drums

Cory Kay – Bass

Jami Lin – Guitars


1. Welcome To My Rave

2. Blow N Smoke

3. Tigerlilly

4. Answer To No One

5. Cry

6. In Loving Memory

7. Gates Of Hell

8. Hideaway

9. Industry Witch

10. Ashen

Shake, rattle and roll is the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the thick heavy plowing rhythm and bass of this promo from Zombieshakerbox. What initially started as a solo project of sorts by founder and the band’s vocalists Kirk Hulshoff has been a long time coming in the binder and has finally reached a full album release. After picking up a bass and getting to be pretty good at it, he joined some local bands in the DC area and the word got out because he got a call from Marten Andersson from Lizzy Borden which eventually had Kirk in a project called Legacy which caught the ears of a few labels, but ended up crumbling to the ground.

You know when they say : is about the music and no matter how difficult the road less traveled has been, in the end all that matters is the music and what it took to get there. I guess this is how Zombieshakerbox got to where they are, a peculiar band, with a direct sense of honesty in it’s lyrics that deal with everyday devils and triumphs, something some bands don’t dare to dig into, is not a pretty killer but rather an necessary lesson to learn. This is what I liked the most about the band, they harsh direct writing it they’re music brings flashes of some old school Alice in Chains with it’s dark and brooding undertones. I would describe the music as “REAL” if there ever was such a thing.

The opening track “Welcome To My Rave” is an heavy bottom metal tune with a crisp industrial vibe in it’s core, a crunchy delight to my ears. The lovely real life ballad “Tigerlilly” dedicated to Hulshoff”s daughter hit’s a never with me, a powerfully written piece with a nice tone and vocal arrangement, brings me memories of listening to “Nutshell” from AIC but more potent. The intro to “Answer To No One” has me thinking a young Ozzy meets Layne Staley riding on a horse back down in the old West with a license to kill, a cool vibe takes this song and precariously makes it a winner, mad love to the sparkling guitar lead on here also top notch.

The southern pound of “Cry” features yet another superb guitar solo part, along with some more great nitty gritty vocals by Hushoff. The more speedier up tempo grit of “Gates of Hell” plows through with blistering menace, making one of the most vicious tracks on the album yet, everything works well here from the furious fret attack, to the monster drumming, it all explodes into a mosh pit.

An enjoyable album if you are a good rock listener, the writing is dark and honest, the instrumentation is superb, giving the nature of the in your face  music you have at hand. The production is clean as a whistle,  with a thundering rhythm and bass section the Zombie pack has something to offer to the Metal world. I smell hints of grunge in the music though, so it’s not all metal and nonsense, these guys can play and have a direct approach straight to your skull. Encrypted is actually a re-release since the band’s original debut came out last year, too bad I didn’t get my hands on it then because I missed out some potential killer stuff. A band who needs the exposure and everybody should check out, considering the amount of garbage that we get here in the states, toppling on commercial media and the stupidity that we call music now a days, Zombieshakerbox looms closer out of obscurity and into something viable, given the time and fan support of course. Nothing else said is recommended to anybody into good well played music. Check em out!!!

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys   8/10

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