4 out of 5
Produced by: Simonetti, Pignatelli, Morante?
Label: Waxwork Records
I know I should know more about Goblin by now, but I… don’t. And as tends to happen with my, I stumble into the square peg version of whichever classic act first; in this case, the stripped-down, less-progged trio of musicians who composed Tenebrae. While it’s not exactly my first first exposure, thanks, but of course, to Waxwork Records, it’s my first Argento pairing with the group, which is the director I mostly identify them with. And I gotta say, as good as what I’d heard before was, Tenebrae is glowingly unique, even by my current-day ears. A mixture of proto-80s rock and electronic garage beats, cast through that shimmery, Goblin-esque haze. The score proper is fairly short, but each of its 8 themes – well, 7, with one reprise of the title theme, though its place in the sequencing makes it just as worthwhile as its un-reprised version – conjures up distinct moods, while somewhat bouncing between something slightly more buoyant and seductive and something more mysterious and deadly, as befitting the film’s dualities.
The Waxwork vinyl production of the album (this version of the score has existed on other labels / in other formats for quite a while) sounds great – bright, crisp – and looks gorgeous. The docked star is… unfair, because it’s in relation to the whole experience of the “full” score being split across 2 LP. The second LP is entirely chopped versions of the first LPs tracks (film versions) or alternates, or remixes, and they’re just not distinct enough for me to favor listening to them over LP 1. When this all fits on one CD, it’s somewhat less noticeable, but the physical effort of changing LPs brings it to one’s attention (or at least my attention) more, rendering LP 2 rather pointless. But I understand that if you dropped that, people would cry foul for not including the whole thing. Ye just can’t win.