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Soundtrack Review

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Vault of Horror
The Italian Connection (Vinyl)


Composers: Various
Label: Demon Music
Release Date: 08 December 2017

Courtesy of Demon Records comes Vault of Horror – The Italian Connection, 20 tracks from composers Ennio Morricone, Fabio Frizzi, Franco Micalizzi, Stelvio Cipriani and others taken from horror films from their heyday in the 1970s and 1980s – with one or two outside of that period. The format comes as 2 x 180G black vinyl records, a CD version and a 12 x 12 art print. In addition, film historian Alan Jones provides comprehensive biographical notes.

The full track listing is: Blood and Black Lace (Carlo Rustichelli), The Last Hunter (Franco Micalizzi), Porno Holocaust (Nico Fidenco), Eaten Alive (Roberto Donati), The New York Ripper (Francesco De Masi), Beyond the Door (Franco Micalizzi – featuring Warren Wilson), Tentacles (Stelvio Cipriani), Cannibal Ferox (Roberto Donati), Cannibal Apocalypse (A. Blonksteiner), Absurd (Carlo Maria Cordio), Zombie Flesh Eaters (Fabio Frizzi), City of the Living Dead (Fabio Frizzi), The Beyond (Fabio Frizzi), House by the Cemetery (Walter Rizatti), Zombie Flesh Eaters 2 (Stefano Mainetti), Bronx Warriors (Walter Rizatti), The New barbarians (Claudio Simonetti), Rome 2033 – The Fighter Centurions (Riz Ortolani), Holocaust 2000 (Ennio Morricone), and Emanuelle in America (Nico Fidenco).

It comes as a very nice surprise to receive this as a vinyl release. Vinyl is making a big comeback, particularly for collectors. I possess a retro-style modern turntable, but – although I still have all my old discs – I seldom dig them out for a spin. It’s down to laziness, I suppose, because I’ve always considered records to be something special. CDs and downloads are often over-produced, whereas a record encapsulates that energy and raw power. It feels much more natural.

I have viewed a number of Italian horror movies and so fully expected this to be a collection of loud and over-dramatic shrieking noises punctuated by jazzy 1970s The Streets of San Franciso music. What I didn’t expect was such diverse music styles. Imagine normal suites showcasing the music of the time. For example, the brass-led treatment of track one becomes keyboard influenced in the style of Barry Gray’s UFO series in another piece. This trek through the 1970s and 1980s continues, to incorporate progressive rock guitar, concept-like meanderings, jazzy rock, before descending into a little soul and Motown. The singing on one track sounds so out of place you wonder if you’re actually hearing it. It’s not until track nine that the soundtrack incorporates uneasiness into the equation. But it all changes again as right afterward we temporarily enter Emerson, Lake and Palmer country.

Variety is the spice of life, they say; that’s certainly the case here. No two tracks are alike, and only one or two actually offer a hint that they are from a horror film. It’s almost as if the records have been put in the wrong sleeve. That doesn’t change the fact, however, that this offering is something a little different. My music tastes are a little heavier than this, but it does make for prog-style easy listening. I love the cover artwork by Graham Humphreys which, aside from the motorbike, looks all very H.P. Lovecraft – particularly the sea monster lurking in the background. The poster print is a nice touch, and the overall presentation earns this release an extra point.


Ty Power

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