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Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars Now horror music fans and in particular the works of Goblin know what to consider for their next purchase! `Dawn of the Dead/Zombi' is a re-release from Goblin companion band Deamonia of the bonus disc originally available on their DVD/CD set `Dario Argento Tribute: Live In Los Angeles' from 2006. With the popularity of TV shows such as `The Walking Dead' and the continued mass appeal of the horror movie genre, in particular an interest in the defining movies of the 70's and 80's, there has never been a better time for Daemonia to reappear. With this album, they acknowledge the status that the original soundtrack `Zombi/Dawn of the Dead' has, as too it's movie counterpart, amongst both veteran horror fans and younger generations discovering them for the first time, so it makes sense that they latch on to that interest. Here the band reinterpret those many classic Goblin `Zombi' pieces in a way that will appeal to both original fans and younger newcomers.

While many of the pieces remain true in spirit to their original versions, there's frequently an added plodding heaviness that metal fans will enjoy. Even some of the biggest Goblin fans would have to admit that some of their 70's pieces have not aged particularly well, so this album gives them a modern makeover that will possibly even appeal to younger listeners. Having said that, it's an album of two halves - the first five or so pieces (as well as the bonus tracks) are aggressive and heavy, while the remainder is lighter, more affectionate and 70's influenced, with jazz, prog and classical elements.

Gothic synth choirs over chugging riffs, heartbeat-like drums and sprawling David Gilmour inspired heavy guitar work get the album off to an intense start on `L'Alba Dei Morti Viventi'. `Zombi' is given a frantic makeover, now sped up for added tension and violent drama, with riff-heavy guitars and pounding drumwork crashing all over intimidating synth choirs. There's some cool extravagant percussion that recalls some of those more forgotten Goblin soundtracks in the 70's and 80's, with a dazzling extended electric piano solo from Claudio over a kick-drum attack! Very addictive stuff. The punishing coldly programmed beats and impossibly heavy electronic drums on `At The Safari' are relentless and bring an unbearable tension. `Zaratozom' sounds like an instrumental outtake from Iron Maiden, all chugging riffs, galloping bass and soaring guitar soloing, while the stop/start build, tricky time-changes and swirling Moog runs of `La Caccia' could almost be Yes reborn as a heavier band!

Strangely, the second half of the album seems to have a complete change of heart! `Tirassegno' is a lovely romantic upbeat piano and electric guitar number. `Oblio', the absolute highlight of the album, slows things down for a somber and thoughtful piano piece, sounding almost like one of those modern King Crimson `ProjeKt' pieces, with lovely fretless bass, haunting Mellotron and ethereal guitar soloing. It's followed by a minute-long solo piano interlude `Risveglio' that's quietly sad and reflective, and `Zombi Sexy' is a floating laid-back romantic piece with glistening synths and humming Hammond organ. `Supermarket' wraps the album on a sprightly foot-tapping jazz- rocker, plenty of cool guitar solos, loose drumming and infectious grooves all around. It sadly ends very abruptly just as the band could really start jamming and take off.

To top off the CD release, there's three bonus tracks, including a harder remake of Goblin's `Roller' with added synth choir vocals and some supremely heavier riffs and up-tempo pounding drums in the middle! Seeing as `Roller' is one of my all-time favourite albums, I'm very happy to hear this version not let down the original! A bombastic church organ and supremely heavy riff run-through of Bach's `Toccata E Fuga' and sinister chilly stalking `Il Cartaio' stomping piano rocker wrap up the disc. Oddly, these three bonus tracks would have been more suited to the heavy sections of the main album! If they were slotted in after `La Caccia' the album would have flowed better, as good as the lighter later sections truly are.

Unfortunately for me there's still those kitschy piano dittys like `Torte In Faccia' that I never enjoyed the first time around on the vintage albums, and they sure don't please me now. It's nice to know the band have a sense of humour, but by all means, if you must, put them on as bonus tracks at the end of the album, as they really stand out too much from up the brooding tension the band builds so well.

Although not completely confronting and darkly immersive as projects like Morte Macabre, this album is perfect for fans of the more melodic horror themed bands such as Anima Morte and even fellow Italian horror project L'Ombra Della Sera. Undemanding, not especially challenging, but sumptuous to listen to, perfectly played and very addictive. On some of those later tracks, you can really hear the band's energy and infectious sense of fun. That makes this release easy enough to put on as an undemanding background listen, but even better when turned up loud for those heavier pieces!

Four stars.

Report this review (#989689)
Posted Sunday, June 30, 2013 | Review Permalink
kev rowland
Honorary Reviewer
4 stars This band is the creation of Claudio Simonetti, composer and keyboardist of Goblin, who are best-known for their contributions to the soundtracks of the films directed by Dario Argento. I was fortunate enough a few weeks ago to see Goblin play in front of a showing of the classic 'Suspiria', and it was just awesome! Here he has got together some younger musicians to assist him in revisiting some Goblin numbers, and giving them a fresh sound. Originally released in 2006, it now contains three bonus numbers, one of which is for me the absolute highlight of the whole piece. There is no need to know the original songs here, as Claudio has treated them afresh and these are new arrangements which capture the bombast and gothic darkness that make Goblin such a powerful live act.

Some of the songs sound as if they have been lifted straight from a horror set, while others are somehow even more dramatic with a menace and presence that is quite incredible. "At The Safari" contains some incredible percussion that threatens and drives, while others can be lighter in manner yet always with a brooding atmosphere which is Italian prog at its' very best. Although it does have to be said that the honky tonk of "Torte In Faccia" does seem somewhat at odds with the rest of the album.

Towards the end of the Seventies I was intrigued by Sky's version of Bach's "Toccatta and Fugue", which even made the charts in the UK. But that is a mere lightweight compared with Daemonia's "Toccata e Fuga" which takes the song to a far more dramatic and powerful level. It sounds a little quick to me, but the overall effect is stunning with the melodramatic keyboards combining perfectly with the chugging metallic monster that is the rest of the group. This album is definitely well worth investigating.

Report this review (#1012236)
Posted Tuesday, August 6, 2013 | Review Permalink

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