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Vault of Horror presents The Gates of Hell Trilogy (Coloured Vinyl)
By James Whittington, Thursday 19th December 2019
Gates of Hell Front cover with stickerVault of Horror presents The Gates of Hell Trilogy
Demon Records

Following the success of the first two Vault of Horror vinyl releases, Demon Records have pulled out all the stops to deliver another sublime piece of audio that should form part of everyone's Christmas list this year.

Lucio Fulci's Gates of Hell trilogy of movies delivered some of the most controversial pieces of horror cinema at a time when horror was entering the "video nasties" period and the genre, as a whole, was frowned upon. Fulci grabbed this chance to push the envelope further with movies which celebrated the limits horror could go to and by doing so opened the doors - or gates if you will - to horror fans to what Italian cinema could offer.

Complimenting these pieces were infamous scores from masters of the synthesiser; Fabio Frizzi, Walter Rizzati and Alessandro Blonksteiner, who all gave extra aural colour to these already vivid movies.

Here is a quick look at the highlights each album has to offer:

LP1: Paura Nella Citta' Dei Morti Viventi/City of the Living Dead - Fabio Frizzi
From the lush opening strings of Introduzione, Paura, Liberazione this score is a plodding piece of dread that emits a true emotional trip into aural anxiety. Spiralling in parts with random clashes on strings and a funky bass it takes the last legs of disco and gives the genre a rotting existence most notably on Verso L'Alba. Flip over to side B and we're back in classic Frizzi territory, meaning deep vocals and a thumbing beat. The final track, Tenebre Viventi brings the score to a foreboding close and will have you reaching for the arm of the player to listen to once more to appreciate the themes contained within.

LP2: E Tu Vivrai Nel Terrore. L'Aldila/The Beyond - Fabio Frizzi
Verso L'Ignoto opens up the score to The Beyond which is, once again pure Frizzi, even more so, with Voci Dal Nulla which is totally off its head and pops up a couple of times in varying lengths. Suono Aperto contains effects which reminded me of Halloween III: Season of the Witch though this came first by a year and is a sharp piece. Sequenza Coro E Orchestra is beautiful, a full-blown attack on the ears which contains equal amounts of delicacy and heart with fused chorus, mashed with classic Hammer. Bass is back for Suono Aperto but more delicate than before, sliding around in the background, whereas Giro Di Blues is a stunningly sleazy track lifted straight out of a down-town after midnight Blues Bar.

LP3: Quella Villa Accanto Al Cimetero/The House by The Cemetery - Walter Rizzati and Alessandro Blonksteiner
This is a more progressive rock affair with I Remember being one of the most memorable pieces from the whole score. Blonk Suspense is way over the top with so much echo placed on the piano it could have been recorded in a cave whilst Verso Il Terrore takes its lead from 1970s detective shows. Tema Bambino carries on this theme with plenty of electronic orchestral stabs to lift it up. Blonk Monster is far more experimental and spaced out, which continues into Voci Dal Terrore but with added "plodding" bass. It all speeds up towards the end with the return of Verso Il Terrore leading into the rather beautiful piano of Tema Bambino.

Each score comes on a 180g 'nasty' coloured vinyl with all three housed in a lavish case-bound book which has been illustrated, painted and designed by the legend that is Graham Humphreys. The inclusion of extensive liner notes by Italian Horror expert Alan Jones add that touch of class to an already superb package. Jones is a highly respected journalist and expert on Italian cinema and vividly brings to life the era these classics came from. Let's hope Mr Jones is asked back to do a lot more of these releases.

Vault of Horror presents The Gate of Hell Trilogy celebrates three of the finest and most revered pieces of Italian horror cinema in fine style and leaves the audience begging for more.


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