Legendary film director John Carpenter is well known for the spooky synth-driven scores he created for the likes of Halloween and The Fog and he has decided at the age of 67 to create his first original music album, having not made a film since The Ward in 2010.
For Lost Themes, teamed up with his son Cody Carpenter and godson Daniel Davies and created a series of improvised tracks that wouldn’t have sounded out of place in his iconic films of the 70’s and 80’s.
The album begins with “Vortex,” which sounds like a sequel of sorts to Carpenter’s score for Assault on Precinct 13, featuring a bouncing synth riff and piano motif which grabs your attention from the very start.
The epic “Obsidian,” follows, featuring pounding drums and guitars and keyboards which could have appeared on a soundtrack by Italian horror soundtrack maestros Goblin, who Carpenter is a known fan of. This is also evident on the glistening “Mystery,” which could easily pass for a theme for a Dario Argento movie.
One of the standout tracks, “Domain,” combines ominous organ and synth parts with a rocking riff which then detours into almost Carpenter’s version of techno. It’s the sort of song which could have soundtracked a terrifying chase scene in one of his films.
The almost elegiac “Purgatory” slows things down a bit, being Carpenter’s version of classical music, while the final track, “Night,” is a subtle yet uneasy track.
The fact that the album is improvised lends an intriguing air of proceedings to the album, as it lends the album an almost jazz-like quality of taking risks. Carpenter has said that the album was a true collaborative process with him having no veto power, and this seems to have resulted in an album where all the musicians work together seamlessly to create an album of ominous dramatic music.
Carpenter as recently revealed that he has another album, entitled “Dark Blues,” almost completed, and if it is as successful as this album is at creating tense yet memorable music it should certainly be worth listening to.
Lost Themes is released on February 3rd.