Daemonia - Dario Argento Tribute

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Sony Music Entertainment Italy
Catalog Number: 4961702
Format: CD
Total Time: 49:18:00

As I write this, ProgWest 2002 is just a few days away. In preparation, I began to familiarize myself with the music from the artists I wasn't already familiar with. Daemonia was one such band. Dario Argento Tribute was the foray available to me -- and what a find it is. Even if you aren't familiar with the movies of horror director Argento - and I'm one of those that isn't - you will appreciate and enjoy the music being played here. Daemonia are Claudio Simonetti (of Goblin) on keyboards, Nicola Di Staso on guitars, Titta Tani on drums, and Federico Amorosi on bass, here backed by an orchestra. The pieces themselves are mostly written by Simonetti and his fellow Goblins (Massimo Morante, Fabio Pignatelli, and Walter Martino), a few by Simonetti himself, and a few by Keith Emerson (of ELP) and Ennio Morricone. Argento's best known movies are represented, including the first movie for which Goblin composed the music, Profondo Rosso (Deep Red). Other film works include Susperia, Inferno and Dawn Of The Dead, the latter a George Romeo film (a horror film legend in his own right) with whom Argento work and brought along Goblin for the soundtrack. Here, on "L'Alba Del Morte Viventi" (the title track from Dawn) I'm brought to mind of latter day Pink Floyd, as the same sweeping sonicscapes can be heard here. Amorosi's bass throbs with just a tinge of menace, Tani's taut drums punctuating the drama. When Simonetti's organ-like keys come into the mix, you can throw out Floyd, but add in a touch of Emerson, as there is a hint of ELP here. And the way Di Staso bends and pulls at the guitar strings... this is just magic. I was quite impressed by this release only a few minutes into the first track - it needed only one minute (just about) to win me over. Needless to say, it got a lot of repeated plays.

This is a spectacular suite of music spanning 13 tracks. Sure some of the vocal wailings might put some people off, though soprano Elena Berero on "Tenere" (from the movie of the same name) does this beautifully hauntingly. This is what horror film music should be, very gothic and eerie, and yet this does not come across as cheesy at all. And does this ever rock, too. Di Staso is a terrific guitarist, equally matched by Simonetti's astonishing keyboard work, including piano. Tani and Amorosi are no slouches on their instruments either. "Demon" is a driving piece, with lots of electronic percussive sounds, including some digitized voices singing/uttering "killa killa" (killer? kill her?) ... ah, no, listen closely - "demon, demon," (as a clipped dae-mon) I think. Baroque, gothic... cool stuff. By contrast, the very next piece, "Inferno," is, ironically, mostly a lyrical piano piece with a backing of soft strings. "Mater Tenebrarum" is an operatic piece composed by Emerson -- the keyboard parts tell you this alone. The rich, deep male voices of the chorus give the impression of a quintet of Robert Goulet, playing off a quintet of Jessye Normans. "Opera" has the haunting soprano vocals of Hong Mei -- again, undeniably horror film music -- with some wonderfully warm horns and trumpets.

There are too many wonderful moments to mention them all... right now it is the sweet yet sad violin guitar notes from Di Staso for ever so brief "Sospiri E Sospiri" (from The Phantom Of The Opera) that moving me. Yes, real violins are there, too, which only adds to this feeling. But, I love every moment of this album, and I'm not really a horror film fan. This may change that.

There are two creepy moments here -- the whispering demonic voices that opening "Susperia" and the wet, violent, hacking moments that begin "Mad Puppet." Both could be snippets from the films dialog/sound effects track, or just for this release, but they sure set the tone.

Dario Argento Tribute has something for everyone from classical to rock and back. Dario Argento Tribute is a stellar album. Very highly recommended.

L'Alba Dei Morti Viventi (From Zombie/Dawn Of The Dead) (4:54) / Demon (5:15) / Inferno (1:46) / Mater Tenebrarum (3:09) / Opera (4:30) / Suspiria (5:01) / Phenomena (4:58) / La Sindrome Di Stendahl Theme (4:02) / Tenebre (5:51) / School At Night (0:50) / Mad Puppet (from Profondo Rosso (3:18) / Profondo Rosso (5:23) / Sospiri E Sospiri (from The Phantom Of The Opera (2:21)

Claudio Simonetti - keyboards
Federico Amorosi - bass
Nicola Di Staso - guitars
Titta Tani - drums

Violins 1: Gennaro Desiderio, Gabriele Benigni, Shalom Budeer, Gianluca Apostoli, Giorgio Tentoni, Emanuelle Thomasson, Elton Mahdi, Stefano Guiliano
Violins 2: Carlo Vicari, Ingrid Belli, John Maida, Silvana Scopel, Loreto Gismondi, Stefania Cimino
Viole: Fausto Anselmo, Ilia Kanani, Rita Turrisi, Anna Rollando
Celli: Piero Salvatori, Paolo Ciminelli
Horns: Luciano Giuliani, Francesco Servidone, Fabrizio Cumbo
Trumpets: Andrea Di Mario, Nello Salza
Trombone: Maurizio Persia

Dario Argento Tribute (1999/2000)
Live...Or Dead (2001)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin IT

Added: November 5th 2002
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.daemonia.it
Hits: 1457
Language: english


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