American multi-instrumentalist Patrick Bruss is one half of the horror-inspired death / grind metal band Crypticus. Together, he and Norwegian drummer Brynjar Helgetun have released three full-length albums and a host of E.P.'s and other items. Now, death metal isn't my thing but for Crypticus I can say that what I've heard from the band is better than 95% of the genre, this coming from someone who loves riff-based metal with organ so take that for what it's worth to you.
But Crypticus is only one outlet for Patrick Bruss's dark imagination. This past October he released a solo eight song E.P. of synth-based horror themes called 'The Gorgon's Gallery'. I've talked at length and I'll continue to talk at length about how it's tough to find good synth-based horror music that isn't dance-y, well 'The Gorgon's Gallery' is exactly what I'm looking for. Matter of fact this is one of the best imaginary horror soundtracks I've heard.
The difference here is that Bruss uses live instruments so that the atmosphere maintains its horrific focus. It's hard to maintain an eerie or creepy feeling when your feet feel like dancing. Horror music should make your feet feel like running or at least stay very, very still so as not to attract attention. Bruss achieves that goal here. It's easy to tell that this horror-inspired music is coming from someone with a heavy metal, rather than a dance music background. The sensibility pays off as you can practically feel the blood pulsating and oozing from the throbbing basslines.
Again, this album is caked with castle dungeon atmosphere. It sets the mind off into secret tunnels and cobwebbed lairs of darkness. If that sounds corny to you, then you're probably not a horror lifer. Bruss is, and it takes a certain sensibility to realize and maintain such moods. But as important the feel is to this E.P., there's memorable themes here. Ultimately, the combination of the two, atmosphere and melody is what brings me back constantly.
Three of my other personal favorite horror-inspired musical projects, Blizaro, Slasher Dave and Werewolves in Siberia also come from musicians with heavy metal backgrounds (although Blizaro is more metal with horror music touches), a fourth of those favorites, Zoltan uses live instruments. The organic quality of live instruments and heavy sensibility of the artist comes together to create perfect horror music so that the sense of menace runs rampant. If I were to try to pinpoint this album on the horror music scale of heaviness it would fall between Blizaro and Slasher Dave. No matter where it lies though, this has been one of the best albums of horror music I've heard and I hope Patrick Bruss continues to do this kind of thing.
He also did the music for a short film called "For the Team" which you can find at this location.
Rating: «««««/ 5