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SIMONETTI, CLAUDIO  Demons (OST - PURPLE MARBLE EDITION)  LP   (Rustblade)   34.00
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Available on LP (limited to six hundred sixty-six hand-numbered copies on blue vinyl), digipack CD, and a deluxe steelbox set.

"They will make cemeteries their cathedrals, and the cities will be your tomb..." Thus goes the prophetic warning that heralds the onslaught of razor-taloned, pus-spewing 80's horror insanity that is Lamberto Bava's Demoni, or Demons as it was titled for the American release. Outside of his work with the legendary prog rock outfit Goblin, my favorite solo score from keyboardist Claudio Simonetti has always been his nutzoid work for this gore classic. One of the decade's most infamous splat attacks, Demons was a high-energy assault upon your eyeballs, setting loose an army of flesh-ripping, pus-spewing horrors upon the helpless patrons of a sinister Berlin movie theatre, and setting the ensuing carnage to an insane soundtrack that combined Simonetti's bombastic score with a raucous heavy metal playlist that included songs from Motley Crue, Saxon and Billy Idol. For his part, Simonetti used the sort of spiraling gothic synthesizers that marked his work in Goblin, but combined them with hammering drum machine rhythms and harsh, staccato orchestral stabs for something that at times almost sounds like a cross between Goblin and the brutalist electro-funk of Tackhead. While this killer score was finally released in full via a 2003 CD on label Deep Red, it's only now that Simonetti's Demons is being issued on vinyl as a standalone score as a 30th anniversary reissue, along with brand new, definitive CD editions that contain never before released material.

And man, I love every aspect of this score, it's maniacal Euro-disco throb and pounding mid-80s electro and orchestral sounds that fuels so many of these pieces, funky and ferocious and hallucinatory all at once. The propulsive murderous hypno-rock of "Killing" that Simonetti fleshes out with a wicked ascending string arrangement that turns it into one of the best action pieces I've ever heard, and the bizarre tribal rhythms and staccato drum machines that power the weird Gothic electro-funk of the main "Demon" theme, with it's weird sampled vocal noises and an ass-shaking synth riff make another memorable piece. Elsewhere, he incorporates screaming heavy metal guitar solos with pulsating synth, or stretches of jazzy organ and soulful female vocals that subtly mutate that signature funky theme; some of this is very experimental, like the unsettling combination of industrial rhythms and dissonant orchestral samples on "Cruel Demon", or the swirling cyclical synthdrones of "Threat" that transform into a quick blast of discordant strings; glitchy melodic fragments are layered over deep Moog drones, and backwards-masked noises and strange edits that produce a disturbing effect. This score is so catchy that it works perfectly even completely separated from the gross visuals of Bava's cinematic nightmare; it's all very deliciously 80's, and there's definitely a few moments on here that are very reminiscent of Simonetti's later Goblin work from the 80s, but much of it resembles a more gothic take on the industrial funk of Tackhead, which may look weird on paper but sounds goddamn phenomenal to my ears. An excellent reissue of one of my favorite film scores of all time, a classic blast of 80's Italian hyper-splatter that I love so much I had to pick up every single version for my own collection.

The LP and CD versions of this reissue feature a bunch of bonus material, including "Demon's Lounge", an awesomely jazzy version of the film's main theme complete with Rhodes piano and soulful female singing; demo versions of several of the main tracks; an eerie demo version of the main theme played on electric piano; a KILLER breakbeat version of the main theme from Simonetti's Simonetti Horror Project album from 1990; and it' capped off with a seriously bizarre (and surprisingly burly) heavy metal version of "Demon" performed by Simonetti's prog-metal outfit Daemonia in LA in 2002. And for the disc, there are also a couple of Quicktime videos included on the CD version of 1985 Italian TV commercials for the original Demoni soundtrack release that RULE, along with some additional photo galleries.

In addition, the super-limited deluxe boxset has that digipack CD as well as a bonus CD that features the entire score remixed and radically altered by the likes of Ohgr (Skinny Puppy), Cervello Elettronico, Simulakrum Lab, The Devil And The Universe, :Bahntier//, Needle Sharing and Leather Strip, as well as additional tracks from Fangoria scribe and electronic musician Chris Alexander and Creature From The Black, and also incudes a metal Demons badge, a full color art insert, and a postcard reproduction of the Metropol ticket seen in the film, all housed in a hinged tin box and limited to four hundred ninety-nine copies.