mon 18/10/2021

Album: John Carpenter - Lost Themes III: Alive After Death | reviews, news & interviews

Album: John Carpenter - Lost Themes III: Alive After Death

Album: John Carpenter - Lost Themes III: Alive After Death

The film director and soundtrack composer releases his first solo album in five years

A soundtrack to our dystopian present

John Carpenter may be more celebrated as the director of such great cinematic landmarks as Escape From New York, Assault on Precinct 13 and Halloween, but he is also well-deserving of his plaudits as one of the founding fathers of modern electronic music.

This acclaim has primarily been achieved through the mesmeric soundtracks that he has composed for his own films but there have also been a handful of stand-alone albums that have surfaced over the years. Lost Themes III: Alive After Death is not a collection of Carpenter’s soundtrack work, as might be expected from the title, but actually the most recent of his non-cinematic discs.

Lost Themes III is Carpenter’s first solo effort in five years, coming after his well-received 2018 score for the latest Halloween movie, but it doesn’t sound particularly different from his most well-known soundtrack work. The icy sounds that burst out of the speakers consistently conjure up mental images of his early Eighties movies, as well as the musical accompaniment to plenty of other films of the time, such as Scarface, and the scores of contemporaries like Giorgio Moroder and Vangelis. In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to say that listeners could be forgiven for believing that Lost Themes III is a film soundtrack time-capsule from 40 years ago.

Opening track, “Alive After Death” is brooding and builds slowly until the suspense is finally dissipated by Daniel Davies’ laidback guitar solo. “Dripping Blood” is reflective and contemplative, “The Dead Walk”, however, is airier and more uplifting than its title would suggest. While final tune, “Carpathian Darkness” provides the kind of end titles fade-out that might be expected from the celluloid world. Lost Themes III may not be riddled with any unexpected surprises, nevertheless it is still well-worth plugging into as a soundtrack for the dystopian drama in which we all find ourselves fully immersed at the moment.

Icy sounds conjure up mental images of his early Eighties movies

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