When it comes to horror films that combine all aspects visceral and psychological, few compare to the scarephernalia that Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci, and Mario Bava have given us: Inferno, The Gates Of Hell, Zombie, Shock, and oodles more. Film scoring is also an area the Italians excel at, as demonstrated by the extensive filmographies of Ennio Morricone (The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly), Pino Donaggio (Carrie), and Nino Rota (The Godfather). Along with Donaggio, Fabio Frizzi is of the generation after Morricone's and Rota's; born in 1951 and still working today, Frizzi no doubt indulged in the adventurous rock music that was making the rounds in the '60s & '70s. Billed as Il Reale Impero Britannico, Frizzi even collaborated with Goblin on the soundtrack to Perché Si Uccidono. Furthermore, Frizzi is also responsible for one of the best horror rock scores that Goblin didn't do (as if!) — L'aldilà ("The Afterlife"), or The Beyond.
With only piano, a female chorus, a rhythm section and the trusty Mellotron, Fabio Frizzi concocted some of the creepiest themes ever heard for his soundtrack to The Beyond. At the heart of this opus is that succulent bass tone so prevalent throughout the 1970s, the kind heard on myriad prog records released before the oppressively digital and unforgivably septic inclinations of the 1980s crept in. Frizzi evokes dread with but a gesture, like some black wizard: despite images of cold, damp walls, bloated carcasses, and the darkness and dangers that lurk within, the music is organic and alluring.
"Sequenza Coro E Orchestra" is self-explanatory, and sounds raw and nervous yet casts a lustrous sheen about itself. "Voci Dal Nulla" ("Voices From The Void") begins slowly and builds in intensity via Tron choir and a stiff piano cadence until bass, drums and chorus up the tempo and bring the cue full tilt. Had William Friedkin known of Fabio Frizzi, and had the latter been tapped to score The Exorcist, moviegoers would have been lucky to stick it out without donning their emptied popcorn tubs. The final track, "Sequenza Ritmica E Tema," shatters its titular blandness like discarded china; this is an exemplary chunk of Goblinoid cine-prog (legend has it one or more Goblin alumni perform on this piece). While only moderately complex, it's still meticulously crafted to the point repeat plays are required to bring out all of its rhythmic flavoring. Not to be missed!
As relayed by the track order, certain titles such as "Voci Dal Nulla" and "Suono Aperto" ("Echo") repeat themselves, but fear not, each is a unique variation on a theme. There are no bonus tracks or alternate cues on The Beyond as with the Cinevox reissues, but it's housed in a slipcase as with Claudio Simonetti's Opera and Demoni reissues, and the remastering has left every timbre ready to lunge forth like a starved ghoul. There's so much to savor here, it's almost criminally decadent. Do nose around where groups like Zombi get their inspiration!
1. Verso L'Ignoto (Towards The Beyond)
2. Voci Dal Nulla (Voices From The Void)
3. Suono Aperto (Echo)
4. Sequenza Coro E Orchestra (Choral Sequence + Orchestra)
5. Oltre La Soglia (Beyond The Threshold)
6. Voci Dal Nulla
7. Suono Aperto
8. Voci Dal Nulla
9. Giro Di Blues (A Turn Of The Blues)
10. Verso L'Ignoto
11. Sequenza Ritmica E Tema (Rhythmic Sequence + Theme)
Total time – 40:02