Disturbing The Piece
Music plays a significant role in horror. It often foreshadows what is to come, though sometimes it tricks you with an upbeat tempo, more often it intensifies the moment. Hannibal Lecter with his classical penchant, Captain Howdy (Dee Snyder) and death metal, or the ominous tones in The Exorcist and countless others. Coppola’s rendition of Dracula utilizes composer Wojciech Kilar’s ability to intensify many of the scenes just as Mick Garris has done in many Stephen King adaptations and quite a few other revered horror features. There are instrumental cacophonies accompanying many bloody sequences or moments when a character is losing their mind. The Huey Lewis song in American Psycho adds contrast to what is on the screen, but more often the music melds into the segment. The perfectly chosen Midnight Rider (Allman Brothers Band) and the use of Metallica’s For Whom the Bell Tolls effortlessly links the song and the scene together for all time. To take it even further, horror has fluidly entwined the entire film with music making it impossible to separate, that is absolutely the case in REPO! The Genetic Opera.
Reel Horror Stories, what are some of your favorite or most memorable movie and music combinations? I would really like to open this as a discussion as I’m sure the examples are innumerable. I am always interested in finding new horror to experience and look forward to you joining me here on KENDALL REVIEWS.
Please feel free to add horror-related music that is not limited to movies. The Beatles Maxwell’s Hammer comes to mind first when I think of songs that are lyrically darker than they seem to be when strictly concentrating on the perky tempo. The music of Type O Negative and Harley Poe are often horror-centric. Slayer brought real-life horror into the musical realm and Prince’s I Would Die for You horrified plenty of parental units upon its release. Do you remember how much more fun it was playing flashlight tag over regular tag? Yes, it’s like that. Come play in the dark with us at KENDALL REVIEWS. We promise to make you like it.
“Music uniquely among the arts, is both completely abstract and profoundly emotional” -Oliver Sacks
“What trifles constitute happiness? The sound of a bagpipe. Without music life would be a mistake. The German imagines even God as a songster” -Friedrich Nietzsche
MAYHEM – A darker piece
This is the true story of the Black Metal band, Mayhem. True because there are varying accounts of what went on, what is certain is that a young Swedish man named Per Yngve Ohlin adopted the name Dead and for a brief time became the lead vocalist of the band. For a truly fleeting time. In fact, he is heard on only one of the recordings, a live bootleg called Dawn of the Blackhearts. I suppose you could count it as a bonus, he is the only band member pictured on the old album cover, and he is very DEAD.
His bandmate Euronymous (Oystein Aarseth -I apologize for not having the correct keyboard) found him already passed from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Instead of immediately going to the police Euronymous left to buy a disposable camera so he could take pictures of the corpse. One of those gruesome pictures became the cover for Dawn of the Blackhearts.
There is more ground to cover with this story. I would like to bring it to you, but that will depend on the initial reception. Yes, this is HORROR, but often we like our horror packaged and marketed more cleanly. If you are interested, I will continue. If not, I’ve given you a peek, for those of you that wish to delve a little farther into the darkness I wish you happy hunting.
Raised by Pentecostal preachers, horror was not a readily available commodity. As her love grew, her parents were occasionally summoned to school to talk about book reports and various projects that weren’t quite appropriate for her age. They were lost as to where she’d gotten such “trash”. Luckily for her, there was a librarian that understood her insatiable hunger for darker worlds. Even now, if she could, she’d live among the stacks.
Her penchant grew to include ghastly movies and music, which she’ll happily share with anyone listening. The love of horror continues with her favorite videogame, “House of the Dead, Overkill”. She’s not the best gamer, except when defending herself against the wrong monsters. Head shots are her speciality.