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Matthew Parmenter - Horror Express CD (album) cover


Matthew Parmenter



3.68 | 81 ratings

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3 stars For his second solo album, Horror Express, Mathew Parmenter has in his own words produced "a collection of musical nightmares masquerading as a horror film". He plays all the instruments with the exception of some of the drumming. Being the vocalist/keyboard player with USA Proggers Discipline it's no surprise that Horror Express is a heavily keyboard driven album with much use being made of acoustic piano.

The music fits the album title perfectly, the notes and chord structures having a melancholy and gloomy feel throughout the album with some suitably dramatic vocal work, Parmenter coming across sounding like Peter Hamill at times, most notably on album opener In The Dark, 9 minutes of suitably atmospheric and gothic piano driven music.

The music in general is not overly complex with simple drum work, in part no doubt down to the fact that Parmenter does some of the drumming himself but it's totally in keeping with the overall vibe of the album, much of it at a slow tempo conjuring up a funeral march feel.

It's not all acoustic piano based though as on the synth driven and slightly more upbeat Escape Into The Future though it turns out to be one of the least satisfying pieces on the album. Kaiju, an instrumental makes good use of haunting Violin and Cello to add to the feel of doom and gloom. Not an album to cheer you up then but the music does have a haunting beauty much of the time, none more so than on Golden Child which has a bit of a Radiohead vibe about it in their more melancholy moments.

Monsters From The ID turns out to a favourite of mine, starting out as more slow tempo piano based gothic horror before picking up for an organ driven mid song section.

Polly New has a fuller sound with a lot more going on musically than on most tracks with a greater array of instrumentation. It's also one of the more dynamic pieces and the 10 minute length is made use of for some interesting changes. Van Der Graaf Generator particularly spring to mind here in places.

Another particularly haunting melody is All Done (Horror Express), starting off with piano and vocals only, it builds dramatically with some fittingly over the top screeching vocals towards the end.

Overall Horror Express is a very good album though the prevailing mood starts to wear a bit thin towards the end but then it is in keeping with the concept of the album so in that sense works very well. Fans of Discipline will no doubt want to check it out and also recommended to fans of Van Der Graaf Generator. 3 stars.

Nightfly | 3/5 |


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