Nobody scarifies with his spooky brand of symphonic rock like Claudio Simonetti: his vein-popping score for one of Dario Argento's most venerated splatter opuses is comparably hailed as one of the former Goblin keyboardist's best efforts. Originally released in 1988, the remaster of Opera is packaged in an attractive slipcase with a stack of savory extras. Oh, it's released on Deep Red, Claudio's label, as well.
An intense film, Opera required an equally intense soundtrack. A heavy
metal fan, Argento tapped Steel Grave for a pair of entrail-twisting rockers to accompany some of the movie's most splatterific moments; still, Claudio's pristine keyboard stylings easily one-up the metal tunes. The title track is one of the most beautiful, most impressive main titles ever, and features the voice of Mrs. Andrea Simonetti (Daemonia performs this piece with the vocal accompaniment provided by a DAT backup). "Crows" is a taut anthem that inadvertently echoes Wakeman's
White Rock and sounds like it'd be right at home on Mark Shreeve's Crash Head, released the same year. "Crows" is a track many of us wish Daemonia would introduce into their concerts, as it's short, to the point, and would make a great 2nd tune or even opener were a new section added on. "Impending Danger," "The Mask," and "The Cinema Show" are moodier, quasi-industrial incidentals, and "Confusion" also remains one of Claudio's better known comps. "Cosmo" is a sweet, melodic piano, sequencer & percussion piece of the sort we also heard Tony Banks & Vangelis do circa the 1980s
chalk it up to the digital synths (Roland D-50, etc.) that were all the rage.
Five bonus audio tracks and the original video of "Opera" complement this release. The Horror Project versions of "Crows" and "[Days Of] Confusion" are from the early 1990s, are punchier, and with real drums, guitar & bass, could be considered the definitive versions; the latter also sports an analog synth solo. The live version of "Opera" is taken from Daemonia's performance at ProgWest 2002 with lead guitar by Bruno Previtali and the 'demo' version of "Confusion" is anything but a bare-bones run-through, with full electronic backing rhythms and additional textures.
Needless to say, this CD is a must for Simonetti/Goblinheads!
3. Impending Danger
4. Steel Grave Steel Grave
6. The Mask
7. Knight of the Night Steel Grave
8. The Cinema Show
10. Confusion (reprise)
11. Opera (original piano demo 1987)
12. Crows Simonetti Horror Project version (1990)
13. Days Of Confusion Simonetti Horror Project II version (1991)
14. Opera live version by Daemonia @ ProgWest 2002, Claremont, CA
15. Opera (1989)
Total time 44:35