Exhumed Information

OK so yeah, it’s only the end of July as I write this, but it’s never too early to start thinking of Halloween, right?

It’s long been a dream of mine to host a big, haunted house for the neighborhood, but I want to get it right. My wife and I have owned a home for 4 years now, and we’re still planning the damn thing. An underrated part of that planning – is finding just the right soundtrack to serve as the perfect, unnerving backdrop. Set the scene and all that. I think I may have just found part of that equation here.

Italy’s Fulci, named after the legendary Italian horror director and godfather of gore Lucio Fulci (Zombi 2, City of the Living Dead, The House by the Cemetery), is an absolute treat for any fans of all things Death Metal and 70s/80s horror. Despite its 10 tracks, I’m more inclined to call this 2 EPs, or maybe even a split? Essentially, the album is divided evenly between the band’s brand of killer, punchy Obituary-meets-Bolt Thrower Death metal, and 5 tracks of synthesized Soundtrack that the band has co-created with the mysterious entity TV-CRIMES, who the band say wishes to remain anonymous… For now. SPOOKY!

It really is a dead split, too. While the opening track “Autopsy” is a Fulci/TV-Crimes Soundtrack, with audio samples (I assume, taken from a movie) of a doctor performing an autopsy, the next five tracks are a nonstop barrage of Death Metal. After that, 4 Soundtracks inspired heavily (and very much authentically) by some of the best in the business – Fabio Frizzi, John Carpenter, you could absolutely tell me these tracks were lifted from some obscure foreign zombie flick, and I’d have no reason to doubt you. A nostalgic hit of creepy, unsettling, mostly-synth driven cinemascape that DOES feature a few guitar and drum elements on “Child,” “Fantasma,” and “Cemetery.”  Whether that’s the extent of the band’s involvement in creating these tracks, or if they had more influence on the arrangements, I can’t say. But they’re neat – and would 100% work like a charm in my eventually-to-be Halloween haunted house.

As for the actual metal half of the album, there’s a whole lot to like here. “Voices” starts off with some great Bolt Thrower rumbling backed by super guttural, evil vocals, before the band switches gears and hits with a quicker, early-Cannibal Corpse attack. It’s nothing overtly complicated or world-changing, but it’s got some great energy very much encourages you to rage along. We also get a little more subtle interplay between the band and TV-CRIMES, with a little bit of dramatic synth over some of the song’s slower, doomier moments. “Nightmare” follows up with some more early Cannibal Corpse/Six Feet Under groove that just pummels and pummels until you’re beaten thoroughly into the ground. Lest you think some relief is nearby, the appropriately titled “Evil” continues the consistent, brutal assault. By the time “Funeral” comes around with it’s more moderately-paced, Death-Doomy gait – you’d be forgiven for looking forward to the subtle change in intensity, despite it’s darker, gloomier mood. “Tomb,” my favorite track on the album, picks up the pace again, particularly around the 1:30 mark where the band launches into a great, chugging riff over a steady, relentless blast beat that are a classic match made in hell. It’s a great way to close out the metal half of the record.

If I had to find a gripe here – I’m not so sure why the band made the decision to make such a distinct line in the sand between the two halves of the album. As I alluded to earlier, the layout has a little bit of an identity problem. If they’d presented it as a straight-up split, maybe I’d feel different. But as it is, it feels like the sountracks could have been sandwiched between the songs to  further set the scene and break up the album a little bit. That said, it’s certainly not stopping me from having a lot of fun with this. The artwork is absolutely incredible, to tone and mood of the album and its theme is well set, and the songs offer a simple, effective brand of death metal that never goes out of style. A really fun, interesting release worth your time and effort. Now if you excuse me, I have an elaborate guillotine scene to plan out for my haunted house. I think “Glass” will go quite well with it…

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Steve K
August 17th, 2021


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