Soundtracks and scores can make or break a movie. What happens if there is only the harrowing sounds of the soundtrack and no visuals? The listener can still be thrown into a psychological journey that would make Pinhead smile. Fulci clearly understands this hailing from Italy, which has been the birthplace of numerous horror film composer legends for over half a century. The group’s latest release, Exhumed Information, epitomizes horror film adoration. Digging into the pus-filled, gurgling quagmire of blood, guts, and violated corpses, one realizes that listening to Fulci is as visceral of an experience as watching the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Associations to cinematic carnage follow in the footsteps of notable archetypal bands Mortician and Exhumed. The aspects that play upon natures of defilement tend to allow the genre to wrap its claws around acts such as Cannibal Corpse, Autopsy, and Devourment. This estranged and extreme niche in death metal looms in the shadows, spewing forth a miasma from behind a silver screen that cannot be ignored.
Taking their namesake from the great Lucio Fulci, the Italian outfit makes no attempt to hide their deep love and adoration of horror. In fact, they have been outright highlighting the late filmmaker’s penchant for the peculiar and perverse throughout their career. Their second full-length played on the impact of Zombi 2, while Fulci’s recent offering delves into Lucio’s ‘90s release, Voices from Beyond. The band’s sampling of the autopsy scene plus the opening credits in the opening track ‘Autopsy’ is blatant evidence. Fulci deftly adds an adventurous twist of the wrist to drive the blood-spattered scalpel home. The album mirrors the psychological and atmospheric elements of Voices from Beyond in two halves — the graphic nature of reality in life and death, and the surreal reverberations of the beyond. The grotesque nature of decomposition riddled with insects and rot, extremity of medical calamities and gore, and the twisted nature of the human mind rip through the listener’s ears to the tune of five death metal tracks opening the album. These cuts ooze the uncompromising angst of the genre’s abject roots. Assisted by TV-CRIMES, the “beyond” half echoes a stark and nebulous collection style reminiscent of John Carpenter. The pairing is a match made in hell, and brilliantly captures the duality of Lucio Fulci’s cinematic vision for Visions from Beyond.
Fulci doesn’t just carbon-copy the compositional scalpel from films of their eponymous moniker. They take it and carve their own imaginative incision in the flesh of the macabre with reverence and twisted glee.
Exhumed Information is out now via Time to Kill Records and can be ordered here.
Words: Garrett A. Tanner