White Zombie - Astro-Creep: 2000
Geffen Records
Heavy / Groove Metal with Industrial influences
11 songs (52:01)
Release year: 1995
Geffen Records
Reviewed by Khelek

After hitting the charts with La Sexorcisto in 1992, White Zombie went on to write their fourth and final album titled Astro-Creep: 2000 - Songs of Love, Destruction and Other Synthetic Delusions of the Electric Head. Where La Sexorcisto was heavy, Astro-Creep is heavier. The groove has been toned down a bit and elements of industrial rock brought in. Obviously this is very different from early White Zombie albums, building on the energy and catchiness that defined La Sexorcisto and leaving behind all traces of noise rock. The band definitely sounds like they were inspired by some early industrial acts like KMDFM and Skinny Puppy, incorporating a lot of beats and electronically produced sounds in many songs. The further incorporation of horror and supernatural themes is something that also defines this album in a unique way. While most mainstream heavy metal bands at the time were writing about personal struggle and society, White Zombie allows a more imaginative approach to both lyrics and music, something that I think was rather lacking in the genre. White Zombie just stomped in and demanded to be heard for their differences.

The very first song, Electric Head Pt. 1, has a creepy sampled intro along with organ music and sounds you might expect from the intro of a horror movie, making us very aware that the horror and suspense elements that we got a taste of on La Sexorcisto are here to stay. Then the distorted guitar riffs come in at a fast, pounding tempo. Rob Zombie's vocals on this song are much more distinguishable in the mix than on the past albums, even more so than La Sexorcisto and the production in general is better as well. The guitar riffs cut through you and make you want to headbang, though we can pick up strong industrial vibes as well, reminding me a bit of some early work by Fear Factory. The chorus is also memorable and catchy, certainly a great first track. The next song starts with another creepy intro, then the fast, catchy riffs of Super-Charger Heaven blast in, setting an atmosphere of industrial crossed with dirty, hard rock. Rob Zombie's vocals once again take center stage and the chorus is very catchy and memorable as well, accentuated by quick wah-induced guitar riffs. Some of the songs on this album are a bit more metal-oriented than others, such as Creature Of The Wheel which starts with a groovy, almost death metal sound that really crushes. The song continues at a slower pace that keeps more attention on the guitars than the vocals this time. Then there are the more industrial-oriented songs like Real Solution #9, which starts with samples again (taken from an actual interview with a member of the Manson "family") and continues with strong guitars to create a smooth rhythm opening into the industrial-sounding drums and super-distorted vocals. The almost indistinguishable lyrics deal with, as you may have guessed, the Manson murders. I, Zombie is another track that is memorable, while staying at a more middle of the road pace than some of the other catchier songs on the album. However, sometimes the chorus can get a little monotonous. Rob Zombie also varies his vocals quite a bit on this album. He does not have a very large range in terms of the pitch of his voice, but where he lacks in that department he makes up for by varying the style of his vocalizations. In El Phantasmo And The Chicken-Run Blast-o-Rama there is certainly a lower roughness to his voice. The very next track, Blur The Technicolor, opens with heavy drumming that sounds like your standard heavy metal song, but soon turns into a groovy industrial song. Here Rob Zombie changes his vocals to a smoother growl to match the creepy yet bouncy atmosphere created by the drum beats and choppy riffs. The final track, Blood, Milk And Sky, is the longest song on the album and begins with some tribal sounds and opens into slow distortion-laden guitar riffing and rhythmic drums. There is not much in the way of vocals for this track, it's really just a slower, heavy song that allows you to relax after the beating your ears just took and I think it rounds out the album very nicely.

This is overall just a fun album to listen to. The songs get you into the music and while they may not have the most original and certainly not the most technical sound, it is certainly different from the hordes of other metal bands who attempt to mix different genres. White Zombie manage to do it in a seamless way that just sounds great and one of the reasons that I consider this album to be their greatest achievement. On a similar note I have heard most of these are songs many, many times and most of them just do not get old for me. At the same time this is an album directed towards a more mainstream audience, though still incorporating a lot of the usual dark/occult/satanic overtones present in most metal. To create something this dark and yet so popular really is a feat. Back when this album came out it influenced a lot of aspiring heavy metal acts out there and showed how things could be done differently to create a new and unique sound that also has the potential to be extremely popular, which is really what makes this album a classic.

Killing Songs :
Electric Head Pt. 1 (The Agony), Super-Charger Heaven, Creature Of The Wheel, More Human Than Human
Khelek quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by White Zombie that we have reviewed:
White Zombie - La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1 reviewed by Khelek and quoted 81 / 100
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