HOUSE BY THE CEMETERY - WALTER RIZZATI & ALESSANDRO BLONKSTEINER
(Death Waltz Recording Company – DW012)

"Ann? Mommy says you're not dead. Is that true?"
House by the Cemetery is in a way the ultimate film in Fulci's rather short series of horror masterpieces, the score also marked a significant change for Fulci, going with a composer other than Fabio Frizzi. Honestly, I always considered this score to be slightly subpar compared to Fabio Frizzi's but in retrospect Walter Rizatt's cheap synth sound adds an uneasy and eerie vibe to the film that's perhaps missing from Fabio Frizzi's music, which almost sounds too beautiful to be featured in a horror film!
The largest bulk of this score is comprised of suspense cues that always drag on and on a little too long, just obsessive basslines, some electric guitar chords and percussion on top on synth keyboard... The haunting opening theme is the definite highlight though, with a Bachian hook, a creepy chorus of ghostly singing voices, all spruced up with some catchy drumming. And the score gets pretty intense and distressing during murder sequences ("Blonk Suspense") with a distorted, and dissonant almost hallucinatory quality. Overall the score shows variety, like on the track "Tema Bambino" which can be creepily sappy in one version and alternately magistral and melancholic in another (end credit).
In terms of cover artwork and packaging, this might be my favorite Death Waltz release! Some of the other cover artwork have been horrible (especially the New York Ripper one) or ruined by the label's blue frame (on their early releases) but this one looks fantastic... It comes with an awesome poster of the cover and the liner notes by Stephen Thrower ("Beyond Terror") are a great read, it's like a review of the LP, except much better than what you're reading now. The half-black, half-red vinyl looks awesome too. Not exactly my favorite horror soundtrack ever but still nice to have in such a bad ass edition.

Tracks: Side 1: 1)Quella Villa 2)I Remember 3)Tema Bambino 4)Blonk Suspense 5)Blonk Monster End 6)Verso il Terrore 7)Incontro
Side 2: 1)Tema Bambino 2)Blonk Monster 3)Voci Dal Terrore 4)Chi Sta Arrivando? 5)Walt Monster End 6)Blonk Fascia 7)Verso il Terrore 8)Tema Bambino

Interestingly I had just gotten this CD when I heard Death Waltz was releasing a LP of it too. This 2010 edition by Beat Records is still extremely interesting to get ahold of, featuring 31 tracks instead of the 15 on the regular LP, that's alot of alternate tracks and definitely worth hearing if you were starting to get bored listening the same old tracks. The arrangements definitely put a new spin on these most of these extra songs. Pretty refreshing to hear!

Tracks: 1)Quella Villa (2:57) 2)I Remember (1:20) 3)Blonk Monster (2:14) 4)Chi Sta Arrivando? (1:09) 5)Tema Bambino (1:33) 6)Verso Il Terrore (1:16) 7)Verso Il Terrore (1:56) 8)Blonk Fascia (2:18) 9)Verso Il Terrore (1:16) 10)Verso Il Terrore (1:48) 11)Incontro (1:22) 12)Voci Dal Terrore (1:54) 13)Blonk Fascia (1:02) 14)Verso Il Terrore (1:40) 15)Chi Sta Arrivando? (1:30) 16)Voci Dal Terrore (1:54) 17)Walt Monster End (0:57) 18)Chi Sta Arrivando? (2:07) 19)Quella Villa (2:05) 20)Blonk Suspence (2:02) 21)Chi Sta Arrivando? (1:00) 22)Blonk Fascia (2:44) 23)Tema Bambino (1:31) 24)Voci Dal Terrore (3:16) 25)Blonk Monster (3:09) 26)Tema Bambino (1:49) 27)Verso Il Terrore (1:45) 28)Verso Il Terrore (2:15) 29)Blonk Monster End (1:52) 30)Walt Monster End (1:54) 31)Tema Bambino (1:52)

 

 

 

 

 
 
 








ZOMBI 2 aka ZOMBIE FLESH EATERS - FABIO FRIZZI
(Death Waltz Recording Company – DW001 )

This movie has got a number of different releases along the years, the most recent one being a vinyl LP re-issue.
Unfortunately this early Death Waltz release still suffered from the label's ugly standardized blue circle front cover design (fixed on their latest releases)... It still contained a fold-out poster of the artwork inside (LP size X4) and a cool transparent vinyl with red splatter (limited)...

Obviously, this score is classic... Minimalistic but extremely effective, an almost John Carpenteresque synth score. The main theme should be etched in the mind of most horror freaks, with its primal, almost disco beat (supposedly just the sound of tapping on a microphone!) and eerie ethereal melodies... The other stand-out tracks are Dr. Menard's theme song which is a darkly infectious track, there's a variation to this theme with more of a synth/calypso feel to it but still gives you a great sort of dark, hopeless vibe. The other tracks like zombie attack music or the tribal drum tracks are bit on the dreary side, extremely repetitive tracks honestly... That's really 3 tracks out of the whole album that are especially worth listening to... But it's still an essential soundtrack on the whole.
Unfortunately some of my favorite movie sound cues or effects are still missing from all of the soundtrack editions... There are brief scoring moments from the opening boat scene, the ominous sting at the end of it... or the scoring bits that accomgany the close-ups of the zombie faces walking through the carribean night! Also the Disco track from Ann's night investigations in New York harbor could have been a nice addition to a real, complete Zombie soundtrack!
The newly comissioned artwork for the LP is looking fine, but I would have prefered some original poster artwork for the cover art, the french poster artwork on a LP would have been fantastic!
The track order is a bit frustrating too. It seems like the theme music should be the opening track but it's not and you'll have to wait or skip til the end of the record to hear it!

Track list: 1)Sequence 1 2)Sequence 2 3)Sequence 3 4)Sequence 4 5)Sequence 5 6)Sequence 6 7)Sequence 7 8)Sequence 8

 

 

I CORPI PRESENTANO TRACE DI VIOLENZA CARNALE
(Digitmovies, 2008)


This is the first Sergio Martino giallo without Bruno Nicolai as a composer... It seems like the De Angelis brothers took over soundtracks duty in Martino's movies afterwards. I must admit finding their music sometimes overly syrupy and sweet, but the sultry love theme from this movie has been stuck in my head for days so it's certainly catchy stuff!
Torso is probably their soundtrack masterpiece, they're doing a great job at scoring suspenseful sequences, going for a minimalistic approach and simple piano pieces, only three repetitive notes manage to produce tremendous amounts of tension and atmosphere... and when the drums, organ and flutes start to kick in, usually when the blood starts to spill, things get epic, a real celebration of murder in crescendo!
As a soundtrack album this tends to get a little too repetitive, with different versions of just a few of the same themes over and over again, but these variations can be interesting at times, with some themes played again with an electric guitar, etc... The weird and dissonant melancholic flash-back music track with reverby voices is also really nice and creepy.
I surmise the rock sound on some of this stuff may have influenced Dario Argento to hire Goblin for the "Deep Red" soundtrack later. This soundtrack sounds very Goblin-esque before Goblin were around scoring films. The creepy piano pieces together with all the stalk and slash could very well be an influence on John Carpenter's "Halloween" too but maybe I'm just hallucinating.

Track list:1)I Corpi Delle Vittime (Titoli) (2:52) 2)Il Primo Omicidio (2:05) 3)Perugia (1:20) 4)Universita (2:46) 5)Macellazione (1:35) 6)Il Professore (2:36) 7)La Strage Ha Inizio (1:02) 8)Corpi Smembrati (2:28) 9)Ricordo Di Una Tragedia Lontana (2:43) 10)Raccapriccio (2:45) 11)Corpi Smembrati (#2) (2:01) 12)La Strage Ha Inizio (#2) (0:52) 13)Ricordo Di Una Tragedia Lontana (#2) (2:44) 14)Il Primo Omicidio (#2) (2:12) 15)Macellazione (#2) (1:40) 16)Perugia (#2) (1:42) 17)Raccapriccio (#2) (2:04) 18)Ritorno Alla Vita (3:02) 19)Il Primo Omicidio (#3) (1:46) 20)La Strage Ha Inizio (#3) (1:55) 21)Macellazione (#3) (1:58) 22)Raccapriccio (#3) (2:51) 23)Il Primo Omicidio (#4) (1:30) 24)La Strage Ha Inizio (#4) (1:44) 25)Macellazione (#4) (1:45) 26)Ricordo Di Una Tragedia Lontana (#3) (3:06) 27)Il Primo Omicidio (#5) (2:06) 28)Perugia (#3 – Versione Lunga) (2:26) 29)La Strage Ha Inizio (#5) (2:03) 30)Il Primo Omicidio (#6) (2:41) 31)Macellazione (#5) (1:51) 32)La Strage Ha Inizio (#6) (2:15) 33)Ritorno Alla Vita (Finale) (2:42)

 

 

BUIO OMEGA - GOBLIN
(Cinevox, 2008)

Probably Goblin's best movie score next to their contribution for "Profondo Rosso" & "Suspiria". This particular scoring job doesn't include Claudio Simonetti as a band member, yet the quality doesn't suffer, Goblin still delivers one of their darkest, most sinister and spine-tingling work, and it's still as keyboard heavy as ever.
The Main Theme is like pulsing synth chord which builds into a decisive almost disco beat (somewhat of a pre-cursor to the Tenebre soundtrack). It crops up a few times and is usually very well utilized within the film (i.e. the graverobbing scene, as mentionned in my review of the movie) a lot of these tracks (like the piano piece named "Quiet Drops" on the 1997 soundtrack) have a really perniciously depressing quality to them, sometimes bordering on the nightmarish with that awesome and creepy synth sound... My favorite track is probably the one named "Strive After Dark" that plays during movie climax, with its obsessive repetitious riff and a chilling, mournful chorus creeping in the background...
The whole soundtrack is quite varied, it also has a few groovy upbeat numbers like "Bikini Island", a couple of these tracks were later re-used on Luigi Cozzi's "Contamination" (and unofficially on Bruno Mattei's "Virus"/"Hell of a Living Dead")
Some of this stuff was also designed as actual stings and creepy "shock and surprise" sound effects type cues for this particular movie, this is something fairly atypical for Goblin which usually only composes whole songs.
Anyway, it's interesting to hear Goblin score a horror movie outside of the Dario Argento world, I wish they did more of this type of movies!

Cinevox re-issued the soundtrack on a pretty neat looking digipack in 2008, but it's more of a repackaging than a real improvement over the 1997 soundtrack. The booklet included is pretty disappointing in that all the illustrations taken from dvd screenshots. Also the electrocardiogram design on the cover is going the wrong way, it's supposed to go dead!!! It's got a few interesting liner notes, only written in italian. The track titles are all reduced to their catalogue numbers and put back in their original recording/archival order (The 1997 soundtrack cd had more distinctive track titles). But there isn't much additional material, all the music cues are simply now separated into different tracks (and without any repeated track like in the old soudtrack cd). The final track does include a new surprise screaming shocker just like at the end of the movie!

Goblin's "Buio Omega" line-up: Maurizio Guarini - keyboards
Fabio Pignatelli - bass, guitars acustica
Agostino Marangolo - drums, percussions
Carlo Pennisi - guitars

2008 Soundtrack Cd Track list: 1)Buio Omega (Titoli) (02:55) 2)Buio Omega (M 1) (00:57) 3)Buio Omega (M 2) (00:52) 4)Buio Omega (M 4) (01:42) 5)Buio Omega (Memoria) (01:00) 6)Buio Omega (M 6) (02:30) 7)Buio Omega (M 7) (01:48) 8)Buio Omega (M 8) (02:57) 9)Buio Omega (M 10) (00:36) 10)Buio Omega (M 12) (04:13) 11)Buio Omega (M 13) (00:10) 12)Buio Omega (M 16) (00:30) 13)Buio Omega (M 16 bis) (00:07) 14)Buio Omega (M 18) (04:28) 15)Buio Omega (M 21) (00:36) 16)Buio Omega (M 23) (00:05) 17)Buio Omega (M 25) (04:02) 18)Buio Omega (M 26) (03:48) 19)Buio Omega (M 28) (00:09) 20)Buio Omega (M 29) (00:05) 21)Buio Omega (M 30) (03:08) 22)Buio Omega (M 31) (02:15) 23)Buio Omega (M 32) (02:06) 24)Buio Omega (M 33 Finale) (02:04)
Running time: 43:51

1997 Soundtrack Cd Track list:
1)Buio Omega (Main Titles) (2:54)
2)Quiet Drops (4:34)
3)Strive After Dark (2:31)
4)Pillage (2:20)
5)Rush (4:14)
6)Keen (4:05)
7)Ghost Vest (2:59)
8)Bikini Island (3:50)
9)Buio Omega (Suite 1) (2:27)
10)Quiet Drops (Film Version) (2:17)
11)Strive After Dark (Suite) (3:20)
12)Buio Omega (Alternate Version) (1:49)
13)Strive After Dark (Alternate Version) (3:10)
14)Buio Omega (Synth Effect - Alternate Takes Suite) (3:09)
15)Buio Omega Theme (Reprise) (3:57)

Running time: 47:36