Nightsatan - Nightsatan and the Loops of Doom [Svart Records - 2014]Tribute is a pretty funny thing.While everyone likes honoring their favorites (maybe?), they get sorta weirded out when someone else does it. Sometimes, these tributes are just close enough to one's area where they can be enjoyed, but still looked upon scornfully. While I'm totally guilty of being a hypocritical douchebag, I expect better from you folk. Whatever, really, because people like what they like and shouldn't care what anyone else thinks....even if they're handsome and brilliant like me. Nightsatan pretty much sums this up for me. The 80's movie synth attack hearkens back to memorable movie scores by Goblin, John Carpenter, Tangerine Dream, and Claudio Simonetti (yeah, I know he was in Goblin). I'm totally all for this, it's the second half of Nightsatan and the Loops of Doom that has me mentally over a barrel.
The 80's Italian post apocalyptic genre is pretty fascinating. Although pretty cheesy (for the most part), the scores, violence, and sometimes cool plots (who didn't think of 2019: After the Fall of New York when they read about 2006's Children of Men?) more than made up for the cheddar on display. Plus, Fred Williamson! Taking inspiration from this (and, presumably, other 80's apocalyptic sci fi), Nightsatan scored and starred in a film by Chrzu (wht th fck?) called, Nightsatan and the Loops of Doom. Mixing soft, thoughtful synth melodies with rocking, driven pulse pounders, these Finns have put together a really solid and fitting aural tribute to the genre they love. Though sometimes it feels just like a throwback, others it feels quite modern. Certain pieces could easily be mistaken for Steve Moore or Steve Hauschildt. Then there are the supremely video gamey moments. The most like a spruced up Nintendo ninja game, and probably my favorite, is the closing number, "Loops of Doom End Credits." This one will get your head noddin' and your mouth grinning at the rad synth and squiggly, near 8 bit action. Overall, the soundtrack is nothing groundbreaking, but if you enjoy the style, you'll definitely dig it.
Now for the troubling parts. I'm not sure if I'm just too judgemental or a non-fun fuddy duddy, but there's something about all this 80's revival stuff that gets me. Nightsatan (arrrrggghhhh...well, at least it's not as bad as Deathchain) claims to be what's called LASER METAL. Their debut was Midnight Laser Warrior. I'm all for gimmicks, but sometimes trying too hard is trying too hard. Plus, this isn't even metal!! Yargh. Whatever, whatever, get over it, fatty.
Loops of Doom has an accompanying short film? Yup, you got that right. On the plus side, it's well filmed, and the costumes and effects are pretty solid. Oh, and there's titties. The plot, though, is lame and almost non-existent, and parts make me think of the whole "trying too hard" thing again. The movie is Nightsatan playing music in a desert and some not even close to passable transvestite messes with them. I forget why, but then one of them sees a nude girl and they go after her. They find a guy gone mad by a woman buried up to her head in the sand who is programmed to scream (Loops of Doom). There's a crazy kid with a twist (which is pretty obvious) and some other nonsense. It was cool seeing the band rock out (well, sorta. The drummer played and the other guys stood behind keyboards) and seeing the costumes. I'm not sure if I hated it because I'm a jerk or if it sucked, but it did nothing but irritate me. I almost started to hate the soundtrack because of it!!
Nightsatan and the Loops of Doom is a fun listen. It pays tribute and does so in a very honest fashion. The film, on the other hand, is a bit more tongue-in-cheek and got under my skin. However, I'm a terrible barometer because I tend to hate more stuff than I like. I would recommend that anyone into 80's synth movie scores check this album out. Also, if you're into post apocalyptic sci fi, check out their flick. Just because I didn't like it doesn't mean it's not worth.Paul Casey