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Ed Sum

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Blood on Black Wax: Horror Soundtracks on Vinyl is available to order on Amazon USA

A look back at nearly all the music from the greatest horror cinema classics will be released on May 13th, 2019! No, we are not talking about a rerelease of all these tunes, but instead, we will get an opening of a time capsule which looks at the unique history and artwork of these works. Blood on Black Wax: Horror Soundtracks on Vinyl will get multiple releases too. The core product, a hardbound, full-color, 240-page book spotlights the intricate (and often rare) artwork on the LP sleeves, as well as album reviews, release details, and wild backstories.

Jeff Szpirglas is the guy with the long last name who reviews albums and old movies for Rue Morgue Magazine, and the list does not end there. He's written many books for young readers and is a second-grade full-time teacher. This vocation puts him in an interesting position should he decide to demonstrate his love for horror to impressionable minds. Aaron Lupton os the music editor for the said magazine and is a passionate and nerdy collector of horror soundtrack LPs. He also is the co-host of From My Parents Basement podcast with Eric Gaudet and Gary Pullin.

In what prompted the decision to create this book was when Szpirglas approached Aaron about putting together a special edition digest issue of the magazine focusing specifically on horror soundtracks. At the time, Rue Morgue had been releasing special editions on subjects ranging from horror collectables to Canadian horror, and he felt that a soundtrack book was a no-brainer. In his own words, "So much of what makes these films effective often comes from sound and music working in conjunction with the images and the rhythms of editing."

Digging into What Works and Failed in Pet Sematary (2019)

Wednesday, 10 April 2019 20:58 Published in Movie Reviews

* Spoiler Alert

This year has two Stephen King films gracing the big screen.
Pet Sematary is a remake of the classic with a few changes done to the plot and It: Chapter Two will pick up where the last film left off. After seeing the former, I feel the latter will be the one to appreciate.

The problem with trying to update a familiar product is that not every director and writing team involved has the intention to add something new. There's a few changes in the direction of, and I did not find them as enjoyable. The movie is faithful to the source material in teasing at what's to come, but the connections to the past need to be more pronounced before viewers can notice.

The Victoria Film Festival (Feb 1 to 10, 2019) is celebrating 25 years! Independent cinema can be fickle, and this year's selection of shows is all about being forever young.

This year's opening gala film, Sink or Swim (Le Grain Bain) on Feb 1st kicks off the ten-day long event. This French comedy is about how a group of 40 somethings deal with life. They are having mid-life crises and hope to beat that down by becoming a synchronized swimming team. While this film is not necessarily a play on White Men Can't Jump, the Olympic theme is notable.

Installation art works include a continuing look into virtual reality at The Atrium (800 Yates Street) and experiments with other ocular equipment to provide visual treats. These filmmakers are taking cinema to a different level by taking a DIY approach which does not conform to the mainstream. Cinema art is being taken to a new level.

Topping the list of films to see, are:

Anthem of a Teenage Prophet
Sat | Feb 2 | 9:00 PM | SilverCity #3

Adapted from Joanne Proulx’s eponymous award-winning novel, director Robin Hayes delves into the 1990s with a spot-on soundtrack, Nirvana-inspired hairstyles and tongue-in-cheek jabs at small-town malaise. Between the burden of his prophecies and an attraction to his deceased friend’s girlfriend, Luke is doing his best to navigate the complexities of adolescence, which is hard enough without psychic abilities. Featuring Juliette Lewis (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Basketball Diaries) as Luke’s yoga-practising mother who’s always in her son’s corner, Hayes’ debut coming-of-age tale is a stylish and authentic exploration of the youthful struggle to find your place in the world.

Desolation Center, The Documentary

Thursday, 24 January 2019 00:00 Published in Movie Reviews

Update:Plays next at San Francisco Indie Fest, Feb 9th.

Way before open air concerts like Burning Man became a thing, nobody knew how to organize it. Shows like Coachella and Lollapalooza owe a debt to the people who organized impromptu gatherings in the Californian desert back in the early 80's that combined punk rock, crazy pyrotechnics and performance art. All that happened gets nicely chronicled in Desolation Center, a documentary by Stuart Swezey. He serves as both the director, organizer of these shows and is one of the protagonists who bore witness to this movement.

This work is set to debut on January 25-31, at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. It will no doubt see screenings at other events as words spreads, much like how those impromptu concerts from long ago started. It will no doubt hit other film festivals, and keeping an eye on https://www.desolationcenter.com/festivals for other dates will be important.

In the 80's, Los Angeles was a time for new bands to experiment. Other historians may argue the decade prior more influential, but as for when the punk movement was born, its subject to debate. At least this period of time was hailed as the Silver Age. No matter what the decade, youths and new musical talents always had hard time to find venues express themselves. They can gather at the Whisky a Go Go but when a movie documentary needs to cast a villain, the foe chosen disliked everything that did not meet up to his standards.

* Spoiler Alert
* Revised & Updated from the print edition.

To recall everything I loved from the Dario Argento’s Suspiria ruined my expectations when I saw the remake by writer David Kajganich and director Luca Guadagnino. They tried very hard to condense key points from Argento's trilogy into one product, and the result is a very bloated film. The update of the mythology was good, but to toss in the extra subplots to make it relevant in a historical context made the runtime longer than it should have been. The fact the screenplay divides the movie into five parts is the first failing. Traditionally, cinematic narratives are fashioned into three to stay simple. With the home video release coming in January (digital release on the 15th and a physical release on the 29th), hitting the pause button will be very welcomed!

The First Purge on Home Video!

Thursday, 04 October 2018 15:52 Published in Movie Reviews

Bonus features can make or break a home video release of a film. I love the depth that can be explored, and the best set to own is with The Lord of the Rings trilogy. With The First Purge (the fourth film in the series), some might expect a compendium of reports and found footage to detail first hand experiences of this event. This title released October 2nd.

Instead, the bonus material offered is short and sweet. It gets to the point and certainly satisfies introducing me to the world and explaining who the New Founding Fathers of America are, the allusions to the current "state of affairs" in this country, and what those masks mean.

For anyone coming into this franchise new, like me, the contents work. More could have been said, but I feel a series bible is not needed in this case. Die-hard fans created a Purge Wikipedia to provide the rest of the answers and back history needed to get up to speed. I feel prepared to watch the television series which is (at time of writing than publication) now four episodes in. They are saved on my PVR to binge watch as I am going to view in chronological order than in where the story takes place in Purge Time.

Panos Cosmatos' Mandy, A Movie Review

Monday, 01 October 2018 19:34 Published in Movie Reviews

* Spoiler Alert

It's not too late to go see Panos Cosmatos' Mandy. This film should stay in theatres till at least mid-October, and will keep most horror film enthusiasts looking for a visceral experience sated. When Mandy Bloom (Andrea Riseborough) is critical to the plot, the sequence of events that happen will no doubt leave one particular lumberjack (not Paul Bunyan) to a brink of madness. He's a nobody about to become a somebody (more on this later). This woman is a very forlorn soul. Riseborough is the perfect choice in the role, offering pathos to a very troubled character. Because of events that occurred in the past, she prefers to live a life in isolation; her feelings for Red (Nicolas Cage) runs deep. The two are soul mates. One day, on her walk home, a priest of sorts takes a liking to her and orders his minions to her kidnap her.

Norwegian EBM pioneers Apoptygma Berzerk have announced a reissue campaign for their debut album, Soli Deo Gloria, with Toronto-based Artoffact Records. The album, which launched Apoptygma Berzerk into the spotlight and kicked off a career that would see them release with Warner, ColumbiaGun Music, and The End, turns 25 this Fall.

Soli Deo Gloria will be reissued on LP and CD, with the original 13 tracks remastered for vinyl from the original tapes. The CD version will include seven bonus tracks, four of which are previously unreleased. Artoffact Records has designed special splatter vinyl editions in collaboration with Apoptygma Berzerk's front-man, Stephan Groth, available on Bandcamp.

In a statement on the band's website, Apoptygma Berzerk also announced a Soli Deo Gloria remix album entitled SDGXXV, which will be released on 2LP vinyl and CD through Artoffact in early 2019.

Apoptygma Berzerk was formed in 1989 and has released six studio albums, several live albums and best of collections, and a series of experimental EPs. The band has played live on every continent in the world save Antarctica. Artoffact Records has previously designed deluxe vinyl and cassette reissues of some of Apoptygma's best-loved releases.

 



Vancouver-based post-punk crew SPECTRES inked a 5-album deal with Toronto-based Artoffact Records last week, and for those who have not heard their work, the entire catalogue of past albums will be reissued! Also included is a new album, which will see release early 2019!

Formed in Vancouver, BC in 2005 and commonly cited as kicking off the renewed interest in the post-punk sound in Canada, SPECTRES emerged from the DIY Punk underground and have released three spectacular records, toured both the United States and Europe, and have been praised for their genuinely original blend of post-punk and goth-rock.

Vocalist and founder Brian Gustavson wanted to blend the grassroots and independent ethic of anarcho-punk with the anomie and cold, modulated sounds of 1980’s Post Punk and death rock. Though the band’s output has matured with time to embrace a wider range of new-wave and shoegaze influences, their ethos remains rooted in anarcho punk. The blending of these influences allows for the curious juxtaposition of 80’s influenced pop sensibilities with lyrics that explore the alienation and cynicism of modern life and the search for hope in an increasingly terrifying world. One of the band’s core strengths is its sonic aesthetic, which ranges from brooding and confrontational dark punk to ethereal pop influenced dance anthems. SPECTRES’ live show harkens back to their punk origins bringing a direct and aggressive approach to their performances intended to convey a feeling of estrangement and urgency to the audience.

The band's three albums, Last Days, Nothing to Nowhere, and Utopia are all streaming on Bandcamp and will be reissued on CD on October 19th.

CVLT Nation Streams FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY's Warmech!

Tuesday, 19 June 2018 15:23 Published in Album Reviews

Front Line Assembly is streaming the full WarMech album today with media partner Cvlt Nation. You can stream the FULL album here.

Front Line Assembly founder Bill Leeb is joined on WarMech by Jared Slingerland, Sasha Keevil, Craig Johnsen, and the late-great Jeremy Inkel on a tour de force 12-track full-length album that is as much electronic masterpiece as it is a game soundtrack gold join head of arsenal Bill Leeb. WarMech ranges from industrial to ambient to techno, and will blow the minds of fans of the earlier AirMech soundtrack, as well as long-time fans of Front Line Assembly.

The album will be released on June 22 via Toronto-based Artoffact Records. A double vinyl, including black and greasy-mess versions follows in August, just in time for the band's European tour. The vinyl comes in a gatefold sleeve designed exclusively by Dave McKean, and you also get a collectable, branded download card. CD digipak version also available.

AirMech Wastelands expands the AirMech universe through experiencing the journey from a scavenger to a commander in the war against the machines. After global conflict erased countries and borders, automated armies continued their mission by restoring production of WarMechs to finish their directive.

Front Line Assembly will be on the road this August and September in Europe with Die Krupps. As they return to North America, the band will be performing at all three Cold Waves Festival in NYC, Chicago and LA!

Front Line Assembly LIVE 2018

August 18 - Amougies, BE @ W-2 Festival
August 19 - London, UK @ o2 Academy 
August 20 - Paris, FR @ La Machine
August 21 - Utrecht, NL @ De Helling
August 22 - Krefeld, DE @ KuFa Krefeld
August 24 - Gothenburg, SE @ Truck Stop
August 25 - Stockholm, SE @ Klubben
August 29 - Wroclaw, PL @ Stary Klasztor
August 30 - Prague, CZ @ Lucerna Music Bar
August 31 - Budapest, HU @ A38

September 01 - Bratislava, SK @ Majestic Music Club
September 02 - Vienna, AU @ Viper Room
September 04 - Munich, DE @ Backstage Halle
September 08 - Nu-Ulm, DE @ Volle Kraft Voraus Festival 
September 15 - New York, NY @ Gramercy Theater
September 23 - Chicago, IL @ Metro
September 29 - Los Angeles, CA @ 1720 

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