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Now available on limited-edition vinyl, includes a download code.
The latest foray into horrific soundscapes from composer Joseph Bishara, this new score follows his third time constructing the frightening sonic backdrop to the popular Insidious series, which has updated the "family under assault by demonic forces" storyline first seen in Poltergeist to a modern, more unsettling setting. A former member of the early 90s industrial metal outfit Drown, Joseph Bishara has made a name for himself in recent years as the go-to guy for some of the better horror films currently coming out of Hollywood, drawing from the atonal modern classical music of composers like Ligeti, Crumb and Penderecki and combining that influence with contemporary electronic and experimental textures to create some of the creepiest film music being made right now. I was already a fan of Bishara's previous scores for the Insidious films, The Conjuring and Dark Skies, but the direction he would take for this new project was particularly enticing. For his score to the third installment in the Insidious series of films, Bishara teamed up with legendary metal drummer Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Fantï¿½mas) and pianist/composer Saar Hendelman to create these jet-black soundscapes, which is featured on this album as twenty-two tracks that plunge into a nightmarish sonic realm of low, rumbling percussive sound and distant ostinato strings giving way to violent, shocking blasts of orchestral dissonance, quieter sections where those muted strings drift hazily over minimal piano, or dissipate into abyssal dronescapes; violins are manipulated and molested, producing sickening glissando notes that slither and writhe through cloudy masses of low-end electronics and reverberating metallic noise; ghostly atonal melodies slip in and out of view, drifting out of the void to reveal themselves in brief glimpses before being swallowed up again in the blackness; murky electronic rhythms bubble in the depths of the mix, looping patterns that seethe on the periphery; and there are sequences of stygian ambience here that rival anything you'll find on labels like Malignant or Cyclic Law.
Like most of my favorite scores, the sudden blasts of volume and intensity make for a terrifying listen even when separated from the film's demonic imagery, which reaches a feverish intensity whenever Lombardo's abstract drumming enters the fray, often appearing in controlled bursts of rumbling percussive sound that punctuate the louder, shocking eruptions of those fearsome strings, or producing slow, sinister swells of cymbal washing over quick, improvisational flurries of drumming; it's an exercise in skillful tension building, even the more emotionally poignant moments of Bishara's score seem to have a lingering sense of dread, like the haunting, lyrical "Questions Left Behind" and the gorgeously moody "Friendly Face"; utilizes sleek modern composition and experimental techniques, there's a definite post-industrial tinge to this music. One of the better modern horror scores, in the same terrifying league as Roque Baï¿½os's fantastic Evil Dead score.