It's Halloween Week on Synthetix.FM! To usher in one of our favourite times of the year we'll be celebrating all manner of rockin Halloween synth action to feed your fears and sate your darker passions. This will culminate with the special Halloween themed Synthetix Sundays episode coming up this weekend and will also include the second annual Synthetix.FM Rhythm Vivisection Halloween Mixtape which will be out towards the end of the week. Right on time to be your musical accompaniment through the nocturnal evils of All Hallows' Eve itself this Friday.
To begin the festivities is the totally rockin new album from Voyag3r titled Doom Fortress. With this follow up record to 2013's Victory In The Battle Chamber this group of talented musicians have replicated a flawless late 70s early 80s synthscape that would be the perfect aural companion to numerous denominations of horror, sci-fi, giallo, zombie, post apocalyptic cinema.
Taking much inspiration from the originators of the genres themselves the textures and tones of this album are born again through new ears and eyes that inspire and explode into all kinds of wonderful possibilities.
You know exactly what you're in for within seconds of the opening track, 'Summoning The Forgotten One'. The eeriness of the atmosphere builds anticipation into tension with the synths and analogue drums and guitars creating a classically Goblin/Tangerine Dream-esque flavour that sparkles with glinting blades, swells with violent revenge and crashes with violent dexterity. One can never discount the impact and presence of real instruments, especially in this age where anything seems to be able to be replicated on computer. The soul of the music burns in it's native form with a life that is absorbing in its depth. As stated on the liner notes for the record: "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." That's rockin.
Moving into the second act of 'One's True Intentions' the minimal nature of the palette allows the space for single instruments to shine like beacons. Shadows of the master Fabio Frizzi emanate from the swirling, inky backgrounds where fear stalks unabated; willing to kill on a whim. The track evolves slowly, rising from the depths, clawing through the debris until the guitars shatter the mired haze with electrifying power and pained yearnings of remembrance. The suite completes with crushing blow of energy that walks on, slowly and deliberately into the horizon.. questing for salvation.
The dirge of the first two pieces is exploded in the high energy panic of 'Doom Fortress Escape'. An heroic refrain breathes a swaggering machismo into the synthscape with wanton vengeance dripping from every pore. The mid track breakdown provides a spectacular sequence which builds with purpose of complete unrelenting passion. The arrangements of this track are as stellar as the individual performances, leading to a downwardly spiralling finish.
The fade to black is jolted back into consciousness and synth winds caress the landscape and unfamiliar locations come into a slow, bloodshot focus. Alien creatures stare back in puzzlement as 'In The Hands Of Computers' strikes it's binary chorus through the lifting haze. The blithering electronics talk in a language unfamiliar yet there is a palpable threat that hangs in the air as guitars strike chords of fear and the machines rise into a new evolutionary being.
'Il Guanto Nero' takes on singularly murderous mentality as the shroud of rich leather is pulled tightly over a hand that grasps and steals life. Argento himself would be inspired to bathe many a virtuous euro vixen in gaudy, hypnotising lights to this marvellous piece of music that illustrates the perfect sequence of horror. The set up, the stalking, the chase, the fright, the violence and the inevitable pouring out of life into sticky red pools on the marbled floor of a baroque mansion.
The final cut on this release is 'Lord Of Doom Fortress' which ties the lines of many pieces previously experienced on the record into a final act of unadulterated brutality. Oozing melodies drip with a blackness that is powered by pure evil and then rocks into off kilter passages that invert reality and create a new dimension. A dimension that is stunningly explored with a breathtaking emotive journey of synths and guitars, wide eyed and slack jawed the beauty exhilarates beyond our comprehension.
Throughout this album one is constantly provided visual insights via cues of sounds and arrangements that will spark the imagination of any fan of this golden age of cinema soundtracks. From Grindhouse to Arthouse the tonal authenticity of Voyag3r and their obvious respect these original sounds comes off perfectly. The combination of soundtrack and progressive elements presented in Doom Fortress make for a sumptuous feast of vintage sounds that I instantly fell in love with, yet found impossible to move on from. The grip refuses to relinquish its iron hold.
Voyag3r present the Doom Fortress album on their Bandcamp page here in digital formats and is also available in its purest form on vinyl from Bellyache Records here and if that wasn't enough you can also get it on CD AND cassette here! This release comes very, very highly recommended from Synthetix.FM. Get your Halloween rockin right now with the perfect soundtrack to whatever nefarious deeds you plan on committing in the shadowy, moonless night.