Claudio Simonetti - Demons OST Deluxe Edition [Rust Blade Records - 2019]Goblin finally split in 1982 after recording the soundtrack for Argento’s giallo classic Tenebre under their individual names. Simonetti would continue to work, soundtracking Italian horror movies in the aftermath of the band’s dissolution. He would go on to score Conquest for Lucio Fulci, New Barbarians for Enzo Castellari and Phenomena for Argento before agreeing to write the score for the Dario Argento produced Demons, directed by Lamberto Bava, the son of Italian horror legend Mario Bava.
This brand new two CD edition from Rust Blade Records comes in a very attractive fold out digipak sleeve featuring great artwork from the movie and shots of Simonetti with both Argento and Bava Jr. Disc One features the original movie score with several alternative versions of songs that feature on the album, whilst disc two features a succession of tracks from the original score remixed by the great and good of the modern electronic/industrial scene.
The score for Demons is as iconic as they come. Claudio Simonetti’s opener, the aptly monikered Demon, proving what a great fit he is for recording material of this sort, and whilst Demon represents a classic in the soundtrack genre, it has a distinctive 80s sound that can sound quite dated, however it still remains a classic genre theme tune. Cruel Demon is up next, and those 80s synths are still in evidence, and the track builds a fairly sinister atmosphere despite its rather short length. Killing follows next, offering up what sounds like a creepy vocal drone, before heading into something a bit more uptempo and with a real rock music vibe to it. Threat is a short ambient piece that works well at building tension, whilst the Evil One fills a similar position. Out of Time represents something a little different, more of a synth pop number that opens with violins before heading into more familiar electronic territory. The album’s regular closer is a short reprise of the album opener, Demon. The rest of disc one features one bonus song that doesn’t appear anywhere else on the album, a lounge version of Demon that surprisingly works well. This is followed by demo versions of both Demon and Killing before the disc is brought to a close with a live recording of Demon featuring Simonetti’s band Daemonia.
Whilst the first disc is merely a reissue of this classic soundtrack, the second disc features some really interesting stuff, most notably a series of remixes from bands and artists ranging from The Devil and the Universe to Leather Strip. The OHGR remix of Demon works well as an industrial rock track, whilst the simulacrum Lab remix of Killing reminds me of the modern synthwave explosion spearheaded by the likes of Perturbator and Lazerhawk. The Devil and the Universe provide us with another glimpse into a half-remembered world of dark electronic sounds. The rest of the album ranges from drum and bass to classic electronica and ambient drone.
Overall this new deluxe release of the Demons soundtrack is well worth a look. As well as the original classic soundtrack, the extra material that covers both discs is interesting and some of the remixes are very good, particularly, The Devil and the Universe remix of Threat, and the Dope Star Inc. remix of Killing. Whilst I already own the soundtrack on CD this new version represents a definite improvement on previous releases in terms of the material and the packaging. Highly recommended for all fans of Argento, Bava Jr and one of the finest Italian zombie movies of the 1980s.Darren Charles