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Let Us Now Praise Noise: November 18, 2017

This week: John Carpenter, All Pigs Must Die, Cable, Low Estate, Amenra, True Ghouls/Sea Ghouls

John Carpenter, Anthology; Movie Themes 1974-1998: Available now (Sacred Bones Records)

There’s almost nothing more synonymous with John Carpenter’s film than the music he composed to accompany them. Is there any score more famous, recognizable, and chilling then his theme for 1978’s Halloween? It evokes a response even if you haven’t seen the film. What about the creeptastic music for The FogAnthology is a career-spanning 13 tracks, and while that doesn’t cover every film, every film covered is gold. I don’t have a record store nearby and had to order my copy; Amazon has the CD for $11.99 and the vinyl for $17.99. Carpenter is currently touring North America (fingers crossed I get to see him).

All Pigs Must Die, Hostage Animal: Available now (Southern Lord Records)

All Pigs Must Die satisfies my taste in the more extreme end of hardcore/metal, where I tend to get weary fast, but Hostage Animal has a staying power that I’d equate with newer Napalm Death. As intelligent as it is brutal, Hostage Animal is fierce, well-produced, dynamic and doesn’t overstay its welcome.

Cable, It Cost Me Everything 1994-1995: Available now (Atomic Action)

The Rockville CT four-piece Cable exploded out of the gates in 1994 and would go on to be an important name in East Coast metalcore. It Cost Me Everything brings together the early, rare, and out-of-print recordings from the band’s infancy and it’s nothing to sleep on. The abrasive emo/noise/hardcore sound will appeal to fans of groups like Unsane.

Low Estate, The Covert Cult Of Death: Available now (The Flenser)

I covered Low Estate’s single, “The Rope,” two columns back and now the whole album is available for purchase (highest of recommendations) and you can preview it over at Metal Sucks where they’re streaming the entire album. Low Estate mix black metal and ’90s hardcore in an intoxicating cocktail of metal bliss.

Amenra, “Children Of The Eye” music video, directed by Wim Reygaert, from Mass VI: Available now

Produced by Billy Anderson, who previously worked with Neurosis, Cathedral, and Sleep, among others, Belgium’s Amenra unleash their newest album Mass VI, an emotional slab of blackened doom that has moments of real beauty. Accompanying the album is a gorgeous, scary, ritualistic video for the single “Children Of The Eye,” directed by Wim Reygaert. It starts slow and quiet, but builds dramatically.

True Ghouls/Sea Ghouls, Some Ghouls split EP: Available now (Blank City Records)

Both True Ghouls and Sea Ghouls hail from Los Angeles and teamed up for this very cool split EP for a Halloween release. It’s available on vinyl and digital with great cover art that’s a send up of the Rolling Stones’ Some Girls LP. You can stream True Ghouls’ “Muscles and Bugs” at New Noise and Sea Ghouls’ “Warren” at Ghetto Blaster. True Ghouls give us a John Carpenter-esque trip hop while Sea Ghouls give us more rootsy rock, providing a nice balance of sounds and influences that work well together.

 

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‘They Remain’ Provides Dread and Frustration


Starring William Harper Jackson and Rebecca Henderson, They Remain is about two scientists that are helicoptered into a remote location to study strange animal behavior and environmental changes where a Manson-style cult had committed a brutal atrocity. Director Philip Gelatt weaves themes of paganism, sci-fi, and horror into a dread-filled and beautifully shot film. It’s an effective slow burn thriller that works on every level, to a point.
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31 Days of Horror: ‘Hellraiser’ at 30


Author, artist, and playwright Clive Barker made his directorial debut on September 18, 1987. He was adapting his own novel The Hellbound Heart, which would become the seminal work of horror cinematic art known as Hellraiser. Barker had no experience as a film director, but after two disappointing adaptations of his work (Transmutations and Rawhead Rex) he was determined to direct his own work and get it right.

In 1987 there was still room for innovation in horror cinema and though the slashers that ruled the day were already beginning to be a bit repetitious, there were still high points. 1987 alone had plenty of iconic films: Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark, Michele Soavi’s Stage Fright, John Carpenter’s Prince Of Darkness, and Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead 2, just to name a few. No film, though, came out of left field and blew them all off the road like Hellraiser.
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31 Days of Horror: 78/52


The new documentary 78/52 dives deep into the technical aspects, meanings, anecdotes, and impact of Alfred Hitchcock’s notorious shower scene from his landmark 1960 film Psycho. (The film’s title refers to the 78 camera set ups and the 52 cuts in that scene.) Many industry luminaries lend their opinions and insights  in the film, like Peter Bogdanovich, Elijah Wood, Guillermo del Toro, Jamie Lee Curtis, Danny Elfman, Bret Easton Ellis, Mick Garris, Richard Stanley, and even Janet Leigh’s body double Marli Renfro.
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Let Us Now Praise Noise: October 13, 2017

What’s on my playlist this week, including Iron Monkey, A Tribute to Johnny Cash, Upheaval, SURVIVE, The Creepshow, and Steve Greene.

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31 Days Of Horror: Halloween III

The Halloween franchise is near and dear to my heart as Part 4 was just coming out at a time when I was jumping into horror with both feet. Michael was on the cover of Fangoria and I read my friend’s copy with much excitement. I was least familiar with Halloween since I’d only seen Part 2 on TV in pieces, but still I felt that The Return Of Michael Myers was a pretty big deal and I’d need to rent it the moment it hit my local video store. In the meantime, I had three other films to catch up on.
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31 Days of Horror: In Praise of ‘Pumpkinhead’

Special effects artist Stan Winston made his directorial debut in 1988 with the cult favorite Pumpkinhead. Winston is best known for SFX behind Aliens, Predator, Terminator, Terminator 2, and Jurassic Park. He had a hand in some of the most iconic genre moments in cinema history and moving into the director’s chair seemed like a logical next step. Tom Savini and Greg Nicotero have both done it as well.
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31 Days of Horror 2017: Join Mike Thorn in His Darkest Hours

Horror fiction, regardless of how well it is written, often goes exactly where seasoned reader expect it to go. It’s rare that a writer in the horror genre hits us with a perspective or idea that we didn’t see coming. Nor is it unusual for a story or novel to haunt us with creepy images, vivid descriptions of gore, or a heartbreaking death. How often, though, does an author pull this off with superior literary quality?

This is the territory the reader will find themselves in with Mike Thorn’s Darkest Hours. It’s apparent from the opening tale of this 16-story collection, “Hair,” that Thorn has aspirations beyond a simple spooky yarn. When you open with body horror hair fetish, it’s safe to assume you’re in not in Kansas anymore.

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If It’s Halloween; It Must Be Werewolves In Siberia!

Chris Cavoretto a.k.a. Werewolves In Siberia has been steadily putting out high-quality, endlessly listenable, horror synth music for the last few years. He’s been able to keep things fresh and exciting within a seemingly limited medium.

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Let Us Now Praise Noise: A Music Column

Welcome to my new music column, where I discuss all the stuff I’ve been listening to lately.


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