Album Review: Zombie Strippers from Hell – Tales from the Other Side

Album Review: Zombie Strippers from Hell - Tales from the Other Side

The opening song “Dracula” suggests that the debut album, titled Tales from the Other Side, from Polish two-piece Zombie Strippers from Hell may be something a little bit special. The track is a relentless nag of metal, a breath-taking tirade of sound and attitude simply demanding attention and lustful reactions. Its potential and promise is more than lived up to by the rest of the album, even left looking pale at times by the record’s unbridled tempest of hardcore ferocity, punk belligerence, and heavy metal bred grooving. Beyond being special, it is one of the essential listens from 2017 from a band you still feel is only just starting out on their creative journey.

The duo of Dr. Satan and Mark Twain, joined by session drummer Michal Lysejko (Decapitated), took little time in sparking eager ears with the release of the four track strong EP, Black Tides Rising in 2016. It is now easy to think and expect Tales from the Other Side to be a game changer for the band, the trigger to bigger, even the biggest spotlights to pay dues to one of the truly exciting prospects around.

A lone melody brings “Texas” into view, its rich coaxing soon seeing stormier clouds gathering above it as riffs and rhythms join its enticing groove. Its slow stroll and portentous air subsequently slips into the waiting tempest of the following “Hellraiser.” Instantly energy and aggression is turned right up; spiralling grooves and rabid riffs grabbing ears as rhythms angrily thump. Like a raw and dirty collusion, the track devours the senses, feverishly crawling over them with plague like hunger to powerfully feed the thick anticipation triggered by the follower “Rising.”

Tales from the Other Side

It is that song which comes next, slamming its bruising qualities upon the listener from its first breath. Dr. Satan is a squall of vocal attitude and discontent backed with matching antipathy by Mark Twain in sound. Grooves though spin an infectious web as rhythms give a primal examination and bass provides a grumbling lilt to the song’s doom-y fuelled swing. The whole mix is glorious, a reason to welcome exhaustion before “Kill You” shows no mercy with its antagonistic rumble. Metal seeded acidic melodies court the song’s rock catchiness whilst its heart is pure hardcore pushing a magnetic bluster.

“Lovesong” brings greater restraint in its own raid though weight and spite is as full and unbridled as in its predecessors. Equally, the song shows more of the variety at the heart of the ZSfH sound and songwriting as dark harmonies and wiry grooves conspire with the inevitably punishing rhythmic and sonic incursion also escaping the band. As magnetic as it is merciless, the track is a tenderiser of the senses, their ravaging provided by “Twenty One” with its scourge of acoustic lines and hardcore truculence bound in mouth-watering grooves as vocal dexterity plays within the band.

As each song’s final breath becomes the next track’s first, the album just flies by, never allowing the listener to regain balance or composure. “Trapped Under Ice” rises from its predecessor with a head-rush of violent tenacity and creative adventure. Arguably the album’s grooviest, most kindly catchy proposal, it still offers a cauldron of intensity in its emotive onslaught while any “lighter” tones are boldly absent on the prog metal salvo unleashed by “Train from the Other Side” straight after.

The album is closed by the raw captivation of “Hatchet.” The track is a volatile smoulder threatening to erupt with every passing second. It never really does but there is no lightweight essence to its groove woven canter and rhythmic swing, its scuzzy air and cosmic filth as much manna for a passion for raw rock ‘n’ roll as its melodic escapades and uncompromising tide of intensity. Across its five and a half minutes, ZSfH merge riffs and harmonic prowess into their instinctive sonic blitz and melodic hardcore ferociousness, the song alone revealing the width and depth to the band’s imagination and potential.

The bottom-line is that Tales from the Other Side is superb, a bewitching brute of an encounter only leaving sheer pleasure and a hunger for plenty more. Get the album from Bandcamp.