Friday, October 25, 2013

Music Review - Sam Haynes - Welcome to the Horror Show

I think one of the best perks about having this blog is that I occasionally get contacted out of the blue to do reviews of products - music, movies, etc - that appeal to my horror geek nature.

Granted, I sometimes also get contacted by knuckleheads who have NO clue what this blog is about; but those aberrations are worth the hassle of discovering new, exciting horror stuff.


In fact, about two weeks ago, I received an email from a musician across the pond in England, asking if I'd review his album of horror themed electronic/dance music. Now being an old school goth, who also dabbled in the club scene and did the whole gamut of raves/EBM/dance music in another life - I was more than happy to give it a listen. I should add that - with it being October - I was especially excited to listen to it because Sam Haynes (the musician) said that it was "Inspired by 70s and 80s horror themes but with a new dark sound."

70's and 80's horror themes?!? Those are sexy words right there!

So I downloaded a copy. After listening to it more times than I can count,  I can say that this album is absolutely, undeniably incredible!

On my first cursory listen, I was two songs in when I fell in love with it. The song that did it? The second track, 'Ghost House'. Imagine a John Carpenter theme - the plunking, synthesized perfection of a John Carpenter theme - that morphs and skews into a dark, melodic EBM dance beat. I know, right? Sounds fucking awesome, doesn't it? I can assure you it is.

Here, give it a listen...

My first thought, when I saw the initial email about horror dance music was that it was probably pretty hard to pull off without sounding really, really cheesy. I can say, without hesitation, that Sam Haynes is a crazy talented artist who has made a CD that is nothing short of amazing.

All of the tracks are perfect examples of Halloween music, but music that one could listen to all year round if they were a weird, sad, horror nerd like myself who loves this kind of shit.

Describing the style and influence as being inspired from the 70's and 80's could not be more accurate. There's traces of John Carpenter, the dark and ponderous excesses of an Italian Bava or Fulci score, the unstoppable stalking of serial killers in weird masks, the sexy seduction of vampires, the guttural moans of the undead, and the delightfully electronic nuances of Goblin. This music would not be out of place in a haunted attraction, or on the score of a good, quality horror film. In fact, I've been alternating between this and Midnight Syndicate - non-stop - for the last several weeks.

As we are sitting here, on the doorstep of Halloween, and as the leaves fall like brightly painted corpses from the trees to scatter about ghostlike in the chill Autumn wind; this CD makes the perfect soundtrack.

There are so many wonderful touches here and there. From the aforementioned Ghost House, to the 4th track 'Zombie'; which mixes the newscast audio from Romero's Diary of the Dead with driving EBM beats. The track '31-13' is a chilling mix of The Haunted Mansion and the creepy tones of a funeral home organ. The track 'Halloween' has a playful quality reminiscent of the background music on the Plants Vs. Zombies game, but also captures the feel of a Goblin track. 'Endless Night' is a personal favorite and I dare you to not get out of your chair and pogo around the room when listening to it! In fact, every gorram  track is eminently listenable, and every track is a spooky insight into the heart of a fellow horror and Halloween fan.

I've said it many, many times on the blog... I love to meet and promote other artists through my small corner of the blogosphere here at the Midnight Theater of Terror. This is one of those times. Sam Haynes is one of us, dear undead readers. This is someone with an incredibly talented ear for classic horror movies and a love for the dark. That Sam Haynes has so easily melded the unique sounds of Halloween and horror with ridiculously awesome electronic music is amazing.

While emailing with Sam, he had this to say when I gushed to him about how incredible the CD was, "I wanted to do something a little different to the usual music I hear for halloween. It's part orchestral and part dance music." 

I'd say you did it, Sam. You did it admirably! 

And - because Sam is so kick-ass - he's also added, "I can offer your readers a 20% off discount code for the bandcamp store if you want it all they need to do is enter the code - Halloween - at the checkout stage at this

So, I guess it's Happy Halloween to you, dear readers - from Doctor Zombie and Sam Haynes! 

Please take some time to download Sam Haynes' CD. 

You will not regret it! 

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