Leave it to the unholiest of artists on the synthwave scene to create the darkest collection of tracks we’ve heard yet! Tones of Terror brings together some of the most well known horror film themes, but these aren’t your run of the mill remixes, oh no, these are filtered through the lenses of the Infernal One…Hexenkraft! What does that mean? It means that not only is a tremendous amount of respect being shown to these classic tracks, they’re also being recreated by an artist who is a through and through fan of the source material.
So, now that I’ve built things up here, let’s see what Hexenkraft is putting on display for us here:
- Halloween – Easily one of the most iconic horror theme songs, John Carpenter’s Halloween theme is instantly recognizable, even by people who aren’t familiar with the content of the films. This makes covering this song a daunting task, and honestly one you don’t see as often because of it. Not only did Hexenkraft nail it, he delivers a better theme than is used in most of the actual Halloween films.
- Dawn of the Dead – Another iconic theme song that accompanies one of the most revered zombie films ever made (considered by many to be Romero’s magnum opus). What Hexenkraft does to this track makes it feel even more hopeless than the original. How is that even possible?!? It’s like a blend of late 70’s horror, Unsolved Mysteries, and Vangelis. It’s brilliant.
- Return of the Living Dead – This is already one of the most synthwave theme songs ever without even adding a modern touch to it. Once again, it’s coming from a much loved film among horror fans, so it’s another gamble to take on. Hexenkraft’s take on the song is bigger, bolder, and really plays up the special effects. Then the guitars hit. The outro to this track is a headbanger and worthy of the original in every way.
- Prince of Darkness – An underappreciated Carpenter classic, Prince of Darkness doesn’t get as much love as its more popular brothers and sisters (Halloween, The Thing, Escape From New York, etc), but it has one of the most subdued and complex soundtracks of Carpenter’s discography. Hexenkraft pulls it to the forefront with soaring synths, deeper bass, and a delicate hand to handle the balance between the highs and lows here. Maybe my favorite track on the record.
- Near Dark – Another amazing film that doesn’t get as much love as it should. The Near Dark score by Tangerine Dream was one that stuck with me as a kid and I was thrilled to see it on Hexenkraft’s EP. He takes the experimental theme and hones it, builds on the core and creates something far more sinister than the original.
- The Thing – The minimal score in The Thing is almost as much of a character in the film as the doomed research crew. It’s a score that promotes paranoia, hits off key notes to keep you on edge, and is always there, just around the edges. Hexenkraft builds on this paranoia and unseen danger and re-crafts the slow burn track into one hell of a dread inducing closer.
I had a chance to talk to Hexenkraft today and he informed me that there are some really cool things ahead, for example:
- A limited edition poster of the Tones of Terror artwork is on the way
- A limited edition cassette double compilation of the two previous Hexenkraft EPs is on the way
- Keep your eyes peeled next month for pre-orders
Tones of Terror Volume I is available right now over at Bandcamp with a Name Your Price cost. I hope you’ll follow my example and throw some money his way. After you listen to what is on offer here, I think you’re going to be more than impressed! Lastly, check out that artwork by Skincube! Certainly one of the best covers to grace Echosynthetic this year. For more check out http://skincubeworld.com/