I am now, and have been for a good portion of my life (since mid-single digits at least), a die hard fan, student, eventually historian of horror, to finally writer of the stuff (well, the “weird” in general, but mostly horror).
I am now, and have been for a good portion of my life (since mid-single digits at least), a die hard fan of music, ranging from punk to soundtracks, and everything in between, as well as being a student/historian of certain particular genres, and a musician myself.
Perhaps it was seeing ALICE COOPER on the Muppet Show at the age of 5, but a definitive connection between music (rock in particular) and horror had stricken a chord with me that has become a beautiful and lifelong kinship, of sorts. Both have seen me through the bad times, and enhanced the good. *(Interesting side-note/trivia: At Wrestlemania 3, in 1986, ALICE COOPER appeared, with his boa constrictor, alongside both JAKE ‘THE SNAKE’ ROBERTS AND JOHN CARPENTER – – – I remember watching that as a wee one, quite fondly at that).
Well, here you have a chance to actually have your cake AND actually be able to eat that fukker. This is a project that, anyone I know who is a rock and horror fan, or fan of either alone, has an almost unrelenting interest in.
Any fan of JOHN CARPENTER’s films knows that he (usually) does the sinister, exciting, and perfectly fitting scores for his films, and that in fact those soundtracks are quite integral to his style of filmmaking. The peanut butter to his chocolate. Thought out, unflinching, and downright powerful, the man understands the art of soundtracking as well as he does film. Granted, aside from his two MASTERS OF HORROR segments, the truly chilling and fine return to form “CIGARETTE BURNS,” and the funny, deliberately morally vague “PRO-LIFE,” his late 90’s/2000’s output has not been up to the caliber of his classics.
But JOHN CARPENTER’S “LOST THEMES” almost makes up for that in spades. Not only does it tickle nostalgia funny bones here and there, (with what I can only assume are deliberate yet brief homages to ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, THE FOG, PRINCE OF DARKNESS – – – my personal favorite CARPENTER film, next to THE THING – – – of which that score was done by ENNIO MORRICONE, but damned if it still doesn’t sound like a CARPENTER track), but the album builds as it plays, almost in three acts: There is the opening and leading mood music, the ultimate climax rockers, and the final classic CARPENTER wind-down/roll credits.
It’s kind of like the soundtrack to his own perfect, unmade film. The music even sounds like his camera work looks at times *(you other synesthestetics out there know exactly what I mean). You can take any strange tale or idea in the back of your twisted little head, lay back, and let your “film of the mind” play out before you. Or you can listen to it whilst writing your own tales of the weird, the eerie, the macabre, much like I’ve been as of late (it’s only been available a month and a half).
Not that this is not without its own special surprises as well. The use of electric guitar in some tracks really changes and beefs the already thick and beautifully layered synth work up a bit, giving it all a quite different twist *(I believe the first film CARPENTER used electric guitar in the soundtrack for was IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS) to that classic CARPENTER sound.
This is dark, thick, rich, lush instrumental brilliance at its best. It most certainly belongs right up there with GOBLIN, ZOMBI, POWER GLOVE, and classic composers like FABIO FRIZZI and the aforementioned ENNIO MORRICONE.
This album is a full on musical powerhouse, with MR. CARPENTER not only composing, but playing most of the instruments himself. Phenomenal.
Recommended to any fan of JOHN CARPENTER, the horror genre, dark synth-rock prog (or instrumental music of any kind), horror soundtracks (as well as just plain soundtracks), or just a breath of fresh, crypty air. This is bold, it’s fun, it’s nostalgic, it’s current, it’s dark, and it’s real. It’s JOHN FUKKING CARPENTER putting out his first official album!
Essentially, recommended for all.
Vincent Daemon, writer, editor, musician, photgrapher, film/music buff and historian, and rabblerouser, can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/vincent.daemon.1 as well as his spontaneously updated blog of writing news and nonsense THE WRITINGS OF A DEPRAVED MIND http://vincentdaemon.blogspot.com/ Some of his music can be painfully experienced at http://www.reverbnation.com/vincentdaemonsageofdesire3 His email is firstname.lastname@example.org