Voyag3r – Doom Fortress album review

voyag3r-doomfortressVoyag3r
“Doom Fortress”

Voyag3r (pronounced Voyager 3), were first brought to my attention about a year ago when someone showed me their two song EP, “Victory in the Battle Chamber”. The Detroit three piece quickly gained momentum when word spread about them and rightfully so. It seemed their name started popping up all over the internet right after I heard them.

If you need vocals in the music you listen to, Voyag3r probably isn’t for you. But… if you like mood music that really sets a tone, you’d better seek them out. Their instrumental horror/sci-fi synth rock is perfectly suited for all you fans who love the masses of genre film scores making it out of the gates recently.

“Doom Fortress” is the newest effort from the band with six brand new tracks. Right away, it sounds like the same band as their previous album but the songs are a little more mature. Not necessarily better or worse, but maybe more thought out. Soundscapes are more drawn out to really bring in the listener on this one.

I pick up on influences from Tangerine Dream, Fabio Frizzi, Zombi and Goblin, but more so, John Carpenter. Both earlier and later Carpenter seem to guide Voyag3r’s newest effort, yet they manage to NOT sound like Carpenter clones. It’s merely influence.

What I’m getting at is that there are parts of songs that are minimalistic, synth-driven movements but they also go all out into a supercharged assault with the full band giving it everything they’ve got before a songs’ end. The guitar work, especially, helps bring this Carpenter influence to mind, as his later themes seemed to be more guitar driven.

voyag3r-bandSpeaking of the guitar… The tone on the lead guitar work felt familiar to me at first listen. As I dove further into the album, I noticed that it was reminiscent of “Wildhoney”-era Tiamat. If you’re a fan of the gothic-esque melodic metal of the mid-90’s, you’ll be loving the guitar work on this album. But, onto a little more about the album, itself…

As soon as you start Doom Fortress, you’re immediately transported into space. Maybe it’s a futuristic spaceship. Maybe it’s a space station. Either way, beneath the spacey sounds, the tone for a battle of intergalactic proportions swells.

Doom Fortress is an out of this world journey. It sounds like the score to a good versus evil, human versus alien film in the making. Our heroes blast off into space, fight their way through enemy territory, get viciously attacked by the aliens and somehow end up saving all of humanity in the end. If you don’t believe me, give this album a spin. You’ll see it, too. The driving drums, stellar synths and spacey guitars make for a hell of a fun listen.

8 out of 10

Vinyl LP Distro in USA via Light In The Attic Records: http://lightintheattic.net/releases/1520-doom-fortress
Vinyl LP Distro in UK via Death Waltz Records: http://deathwaltzrecordingcompany.com/shop/voyag3r-doom-fortress/

doomfortresscdCD & Cassette available at: http://www.voyag3r.com/merchandise.php

TRACK LISTING:
1. Summoning The Forgotten One
2. One’s True Intentions
3. Doom Fortress Escape
4. In The Hands Of The Computers
5. Il Guanto Nero
6. Lord Of Doom Fortress

Doom Fortress was recorded using vintage analog synths, electric guitar through vintage tube amplification and maple shell acoustic drums. All music was recorded to 2″ analog tape (MCI JH-24 2″ Analog 24-Track w/ALIII remote) through various vintage pre-amps and a 1977 Custom Harrison 3232 console for maximum authenticity and spirit in capturing this classic sound.

Steve Greene – Synthesizers
Greg Mastin – Drums
Aaron Greene – Guitars

 

SURF NAZIS MUST DIE (Original 1987 Motion Picture Soundtrack) from Strange Disc Records

SURF NAZIS MUST DIE (Original 1987 Motion Picture Soundtrack)

SNMD_originalStrange Disc Records is proud to announce their debut release, the soundtrack to *Surf Nazis Must Die*. The film itself was released in 1987 by Troma Entertainment, but the soundtrack has never seen the light of day until now.

And our friends at One Way Static have the exclusive European Distribution for SURF NAZIS MUST DIE !

Jon McCallum’s score suits the post-apocalyptic setting with heavy synth; fans of Tangerine Dream and John Carpenter’s scores will be at home on this record. McCallum is the composer behind *Miami Connection*, *Terror Eyes* and *Soul Taker*. Aside from his composing work he worked on the special effects for *Phantasm 2* and George Harrison’s “Got My Mind Set On You,” music video.

Limited to 800 copies black vinyl and 200 copies ‘Blood In The Water’ vinyl. The color vinyl variant is randomly inserted. Comes packaged in a deluxe old school gatefold tip-on gatefold jacket with extensive liner notes by Composer Jon McCallum, Director Peter George, and various crew members. Artwork created by Jon McCallum himself and it was mastered for vinyl by Josh Bonati.

The limited ‘blood in the water’ color vinyl is only available from One Way Static, Strange Disc and Light In The Attic. Copies have been equally divided between the three of us but are still inserted randomly with orders.

TRACK LISTING

A1 Once You’ve Caught The Wave
A2 Opening Titles
A3 Youth Of Tomorrow
A4 After The Quake
A5 Across The River
A6 Visit To The Morgue
A7 In The Church
A8 Pushed Too Far

B1 Nobody Goes Home – Album Version (performed by Andrew Spindler)
B2 Mama Sends Her Love
B3 Before The Fight
B4 Chase Through The Boatyard
B5 The Last Wave
B6 Fangoria Weekend 1986 Promo

AVAILABLE FROM

** www.onewaystatic.com
(Europe, Rest of the world)

** www.lightintheattic.net 
(North America)

** www.strangedisc.com 

Spooky Jefferson’s Ideal Lunchbox House of Dolls EP – Review

sjil1Spooky Jefferson’s Ideal Lunchbox
House of Dolls EP

When I got this review assignment, it was described as horror ska-punk. I’m no fan of ska, in general, but it’s been awhile since I reviewed anything so I figured I’d go for it, being as unbiased or closed minded as I possibly can, to be fair.

The intro (aptly titled, “Intro”) starts up and the vibe is very Danny Elfman. I immediately imagined Vincent Price putting Edward Scissorhands together. The chiming piano gives off a somber tone only intensified by what sounds like a saxophone underneath. I’m wondering where they’re going to go from here because this isn’t setting up a ska-punk album to me. I’m into this and I’m expecting to not be into this album.

“Aliens” is the second track and I’m getting those upstrokes that I’m expecting from a ska band but the overall feel is so different. This one feels like a total Oingo Boingo song. The vocals are buried a little too much so it’s hard to make out where he’s going, lyrically. Upon further listens, it’s obviously about being probed by aliens after abduction. However, the Elfman/Oingo Boingo feel is very prominent. I can easily see this in any of Tim Burton’s claymation movies, albeit a bit toned down, lyrically. They keep those horns properly mixed so it doesn’t kill the vibe. A little double bass action on the drums helps add a little depth, as well.

When the third song comes in, I’m feeling pretty optimistic that I may like this whole EP. The track is called “Do You Know”. Some fun, haunted house-esque giggles on this one over those ska upstrokes is entwined with a haunted amusement park-type jam session. Nothing really happens in the song, but it feels very Squirrel Nut Zippers and it’s still fun.

When “Freakshow” hits, it feels like I’m on the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland. This happens to be one of my favorite things at Disneyland so, again, no complaints. There’s a very brief Elfman-type breakdown in the middle that screams “Corpse Bride” before ending with an upbeat horror ska(ish) ending.

sjil2The title track comes last with another Corpse Bride feel. I can also see this song easily thrown into The Addams Family movie during their party. I know it’s not a Tim Burton movie but it felt like one. The movie also doesn’t have any Elfman music in it but I always thought it could use some, along with Tom Waits’ “Russian Dance”. Now, add this one to the list of songs that could easily be inserted.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with this EP. It’s weird and a bit off the wall. I would bet these guys are fun to see live. This is obviously a band who is doing what they want to do and they’re having fun doing it.

The likeness to Danny Elfman/Oingo Boingo, Squirrel Nut Zippers and a little Tom Waits in the music is pretty apparent to me. It’s probably something that I wouldn’t listen to all the time as it’s something that you have to be in the right mood for. I definitely like what they’re doing, though.

I don’t know that I’d call Spooky Jefferson’s Ideal Lunchbox a ska-punk band, myself. I don’t really know where I’d classify them but there’s no punk rock from what I heard and, while there is a definite ska influence, it’s not defining to the sound. Maybe I just don’t want to call it ska because I actually enjoyed this album and it’s hard for me to admit to liking anything ska. I could easily see any of these tracks ending up in a dark, kooky movie like those that Tim Burton makes. There’s a very dark cartoon/claymation feel and it’s just a bunch of fun, altogether.

7 out of 10.

Chris Cavoretto

For more info on Spooky Jefferson’s Ideal Lunchbox check out their Facebook page HERE 

Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) Soundtrack Review

assault13Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) Soundtrack Review

Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) horror maestro John Carpenter’s tale of an retired and near abandoned precinct’s final hours and its desperate final battle against an increasingly deadly street gang seeking revenge and retribution for their fallen brethren is a tense film made even more memorable by its near perfect casting and solid acting.

 

As with all Carpenter’s body of works it is accompanied by a tremendous score; laying the groundwork for his excellent Halloween (1978) score which is one of the most atmospheric and well used scores in film. Assault’s simple rhythmic use of repetition encapsulates the growing tension inside the police station forcing the viewer to be for lack of a better term assaulted both visually and aurally as the story unfolds.

 

The main theme is atypical of the synth work used through his catalogue but here it is almost used as a character, urging the viewer to sense the coming threat as a metronome slowly sticks with a simple pulsing drum developing before morphing into a richer accompaniment becoming lodged into your brain ready to be manipulated as the film unfolds, a thing that Carpenter does throughout.

 

assault131Track Division 13 is another variation of the theme but this song personally embodies the cop movie sound, it feels perfect when its played on screen with the action and routine of a police officers duty. This wouldn’t feel out of place in any 70s buddy cop film.

 

As this is one of the early Carpenter scores mainly due to budget constraints it fundamentally lays down much of the groundwork that he would later use on all his films alongside Alan Howarth making this and excellent entry level soundtrack for any Carpenter aficionado to devour to appreciate the thought and effort that is put into making a score.

 

The music in this film is as much a character as any of the actors and the prompts given in subtle uses add an incredible depth to some of the harder to stomach scenes, the ice cream van shooting is a perfect example of this childish jingle is played from the van as the main themes pulsing drums are underlaid setting up something sinister before stopping abruptly allowing relief from the tension only to rise again sharper and more threatening aurally as the threat on screen also develops.

 

The use of negative sound is as much a part of the soundtrack as the actual score and again shows great talent and passion that Carpenter has in creating these minimal yet masterful electronic scores.

 

dwassaultThe UK based recording label Death Waltz Records have released the full score on “vanilla Twist” (a beautifully ironic joke and one of the films most heart wrenching scenes) white and red splatter 180G Vinyl, accompanied by excellent artwork from Jay Shaw and extensive liner notes from Austin Stoker, Clint Mansell, fangoria’s Chris Alexander and John Carpenter himself making this an essential release to own.

 

Near perfection and the meat, bones and soul of every one of carpenter’s subsequent scores are embodied here in its rawest fashion waiting for them to mature and develop over his illustrious career.

Werewolves in Siberia – Beyond The City Of The Dead (2014) Album Review

wisnewWerewolves in Siberia – Beyond The City Of The Dead (2014) Album Review

Beyond the City of the Dead is the sophomore album from Electronic horror guru Werewolves in Siberia; following on from their début The Rising, Beyond the City of the Dead showcases their talent, growing passion and knowledge they have of our beloved horror genre this release comes highly recommended.

 

From the opening track Everything is Gone desolate and downright sinister opening takes you to the eponymous city of the dead its sparse, haunting melody captures the isolation and paranoia the listener would experience during an apocalyptic catastrophe perfectly and from the get go has the audience tightly in the grasp of the music.

 

From the very first listen Beyond the City of the Dead drags you into a world that WIS have masterfully created and for the next ten tracks captivate the audience guiding them through an aural journey which they will be thankful they were along for the ride for and wanting repeated visits in the foreseeable future.

 

The range of musical sub-genres on display throughout the album is astounding and although WIS influences are worn on the sleeve like a badge of honour, never does the album feel like it is infringing on the works of Carpenter/Howarth and Manfredini but can certainly be classed among them using their styles to the advantage of the album creating a familiar yet alien world in the process.

 

The album also feels a lot more mature than The Rising; this is no way a knock on the first album which I wholeheartedly endorse but the cues on display work far better in generating fear and panic especially in the track “The Woods” is remarkable and shows the signs of a great composer.

 

wis2Broken Souls, the album’s third track builds on the pacing of its predecessor, the fantastically titled Lycanthropic Dream-scape and if Lycanthrophic is the metaphorical movie’s chase scene Broken Souls is the pay-off; atmospheric drums and electronic dread in four minutes. The elongated synth rises coupled with a catchy crescendo progresses as the drumbeat morphs into a more complex arrangement subtly lying underneath the electronic sounds in an almost jazz-like accompaniment.

 

Showdown With a Ghoul is a methodically paced entry the sweeping electronic rises and rich organ feels remarkably like the early universal scores and rings like a warning of the underlying terror, almost a beacon of lost hope.

 

The Carpenter influence is evident on Revenge of the Zombi, although the track is thoroughly modern using that influence to their advantage WIS take the familiar and spin it 360 degrees into something strangely compelling. Harking to the new generation of horror composers and firmly slotting themselves in the aforementioned company with ease.

 

The layers of depth that are created throughout; its runtime allowing the audience to visualise a horror film in their own heads while WIS provide the accompanying soundtrack; this would be the perfect for score for a late 60’s Zombie flick straight from the Italian masters themselves.

 

wis1The whole album feels like it has purpose and slots alongside each other each song leading into the next like a jigsaw becoming so much more rewarding once the final notes of the outro track and silence echo’s allowing the listener time to reflect and indulge.

 

Each track could be broken down and visualised into its own scene and this is the main reason the album works so well; not only offering the viewer to get involved emotionally but leaving them salivating for more.

 

I for one would love to hand each track to a different director and see the outcomes that each director envisions.

 

On the other side of the coin WIS’ Chris Cavoretto has a wonderful mind for composing and is both highly knowledgeable and respectful of past composers work and the horror genre, which is evident after just one listen of any of his songs. He encompasses a visual flair that will undoubtedly further his scope of work in the near future and allow WIS to expand and develop on each release.

 

Beyond the City of the Dead comes highly recommended and is due for release by the UK horror label Graveyard Calling on limited edition cassette and digital download on April the 1st..

 

Turn down the lights, lock the doors, and raise the volume. Let this magical sound scape wash over you and go Beyond the City of the Dead with the Werewolves in Siberia.

 

8.5/10

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You can check out Werewolves in Siberia on the following links –

Websites – www.werewolvesinsiberia.com/

www.werewolvesinsiberia.bandcamp.com/

Facebook – www.facebook.com/WerewolvesInSiberia

Twitter – www.twitter.com/Werewolves_I_S

 

And check out Graveyard Calling records –

www.graveyardcalling.bandcamp.com/

Facebook – www.facebook.com/GraveyardCalling

Twitter – www.twitter.com/GraveyardCallin

 

 

 

 

 

 

Werewolves In Siberia – The Rising

wistherising

The Rising is a full length album released by Werewolves in Siberia , released on 12th March 2013 this is an electro synch soundtrack for the mind. The music is hugely reminiscent of 1970’s/80’s Slasher films whilst carrying the Euro dread of a late 60’s Giallo.
The Rising feels like a concept album with 7 tracks of varying length (from 1.48 – 5.25 minutes) and the tracks are neatly bookended by Track 1 – Introduction To A Nightmare and Track 7 – Return To The Nightmare , that gives the whole opus a start , middle and end that totally completes the album.
The joy of The Rising and what Werewolves do so well is you can relax , close your eyes and almost build the horror film mentally while the music plays, just imagine the horror, thriller or zombie epic unfurling alongside the waves of synthesiser that roll over.
Each track is different and brings with it fabulous textures of sound and all I can say is just track Werewolves in Siberia down and get everything you can . You will not be disappointed .

I recently caught up with Chris and he gave me this short intro into the history, present and future of the project –

Werewolves in Siberia is an electronic/horror-synth project that started sort of by accident. Chris Cavoretto is the man behind the project. After years of playing mostly metal and hardcore as well as running a small independent label, a break was needed.
After a few year absence from music, it was time for a new project. Upon starting a guitar and vocal solo project, the dabbling in recording began. With the dabbling in recording came the dabbling in synths.
This is where Werewolves in Siberia started. In two weeks time, “The Rising” EP was recorded.
Since then, a project covering John Carpenter’s Halloween Theme and The Misfits’ Halloween was done (with a cover of London Dungeon as a bonus) has been released as well as a four song split with fellow horror-synth lover Serengeti Yeti.
Remix mastermind, Ghastworks remixed two songs off of “The Rising” which was released for free download under the title “Double Feature (The Ghastworks Remixes)”.
Werewolves in Siberia takes the love of horror movies and especially the soundtracks to the fun 70’s and 80’s zombie and slasher films and has built an updated, yet very throwback sound. Every song has been written with a vision of a horror scene that could go along with it. What’s next? Maybe soundtracks…

Chris Cavoretto

My thanks to Chris for taking time out to chat and for the info.

I really recommend checking out Werewolves , this is a unique and audibly stunning project that is really welcome in the horror genre and I for one look forward with much anticipation to their future releases.

And here are a few links to their sites .

Www.werewolvesinsiberia.com

www.facebook.com/WerewolvesInSiberia

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