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Night Has A Thousand Screams

CD. Rock Action

  • Vinyl LP £13.99 inc. download code
  • Gatefold LP + download on Rock Action (ROCKACT69LP)
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  • CD £9.99 + shipping
  • CD on Rock Action (ROCKACT69CD)
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9/10 Staff review, 23 October 2012

With all the horror soundtrack reissues that everyone’s been buying lately, the influence of the synthy slasher sound of the ‘80s is truly back, and Kansas City’s Umberto is one of the finest among the modern-day revivalists of that claustrophobic sound. This Halloween sees a whole rash of treats for the horror buff, as not only have Death Waltz’s Halloween II and III soundtrack LPs turned up but this lad here has not one but two new long-players; this one on Rock Action and another on Not Not Fun. Pretty impressive, huh?

Opening with some pure Carpenter-worship pulsating synths and shock stabs, the album unfolds into a dark melodic landscape of bumping techno beats and adventurous pure synth dread-melodies like Vangelis at his most malevolent, elsewhere dropping synth-bass funk for striding ‘Thriller’-esque, er, thrills.

The John Carpenter influence does seem to dominate throughout, coming across almost like a nimbly-executed pastiche when the cheeky little melody drops towards the end of ‘The Dance Studio’, but I’m sure you’ll agree that there’s plenty of scope for a modern angle on that distinctively ‘80s sound, and much like Zombi and Egyptology, Umberto really gets inside that sound and makes it his own, whilst keeping hold of the pulsing, plastic heart which defined that golden era when horror films and synthesizers were practically inseparable.

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Night Has A Thousand Screams by Umberto. Vinyl LP. ROCKACT69LP.

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Night Has A Thousand Screams by Umberto. CD. ROCKACT69CD.

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