Wednesday, June 27, 2007

"Electric Horrorland": Michael Knight's new 2007 instrumental album based on the most famous horror games of all time!

I've been a fan of Michael Knight since I bought his first 2 instrumental albums back in 2003 - put out by his own record label. Michael has been an award-winning guitarist in the NY area. An all-around artist, he's also put out the independent & FREE, heavy music magazine Guitar-2001, highlighting instrumental music with interviews of your favorite artists. He's also released 2 various artist instrumental CD compilations. He's done some indie horror film scores as well. A couple of years ago I wrote him to purchase a mag and he sent me a free magazine, a free compilation CD and some of his own promo materials - a really cool guy! In 2004 his vocal fronted band Skulgrinder released "Island Of Lost Souls". He just released his first book of short horror fiction entitled "The Clocktower Black". Now he has just unleashed his new 2007 masterpiece, the heavy instrumental horror album "Electric Horrorland", based on the greatest horror games of the last 15 years.

Michael's killer 1994 debut "Dreamscapes" takes you into individual "nightmares and dreamscapes" with heavy, melodic grooves and ripping guitars. I blasted this in my truck a lot while picturing the awesome themes in my mind. I could imagine the thunderous lighting storm while listening to “Electric Skies” for example. With 2002's "Mechanica Diablo", Knight unveils a refined craft and superior production values at his friend & guest guitarist Steve Booke's studio. He also has some other friends contribute. It's a flowing concept album based on "Dante's Inferno" - the doomed downfall of the human race in the 21st century due to sexual disease, turned to biotech, sexual machine madness & darkness. This ripping & ultra creative masterwork has been a huge hit, with significant non-mainstream radio play and has gotten fabulous reviews. When I first heard "Mechanica Diablo" MP3 previews on the internet, I'd loop them throughout the work day. It was a big inspiration and made me realize an unconventional, imaginative sound you could achieve with dark, instrumental horror music.
Now with "Electric Horrorland", take the production values and sound of "Mechanica Diablo", pump it with steroids, then kick it into overdrive for a high-octane, no-holds-barred, go-for-the-jugular horror gaming shredfest! "Electric Horrorland" is refined in a more straightforward way, with tightened up monster muscles and superb production. The bass and drums are always tight, thick & powerful, at perfect levels with the other instruments. It features a few of his signature, sublimly eeire & atmospheric creep-out tracks in the style of his last album, and the rest of the songs are a HEAVY, charging assault. The chugging rhythms never let up. He always has great melody and his out-of-the-box solos appear in frenzied flurries. The always cool guitar parts scurry or jump out like hidden creatures from dark holes. Another of his signatures, the compositions are highlighted by fresh, creepy sounds & effects, used in just the right amounts in all the right places. It's a concept album, yet each track on "Electric Horrorland" stands on its’ own, with no connected story - as the songs refer to INDIVIDUAL horror games. The unparalleled online PC game "Quake" is my favorite all-time game - so I was STOKED to see that he had a song on his new album by the same name! Of course other horror game track titles I recognized, and I knew all of the tracks would be terrific. There's never a dull moment and I can picture the games I'm familiar with in my head perfectly.
Yeah, people can make metal and other music sound scary, but to convey a certain theme in an audio-to-visual translation as a song is VERY HARD to do and somehow Michael knows how to pull it off. These songs could very well be put right into the games themselves. The sound of this newest material is as he stated he'd deliver: "leaner & meaner". I believe Michael Knight has found his "voice" - THE holy grail sound he's been seeking - and it's his MAGNUM OPUS. I just got the CD a few days ago from, and I can't seem to stop replaying it after each listen on my Ipod. It almost makes me worried that I'll be bored with any new instrumental releases coming out from other artists!

We know that the great Buckethead gives us crazy mixtures of horror in various themes and musical styles. Nothing sounds quite like Michael Knight running the gamut of horror subjects across the board. Even with all of the non-horror guitar virtuoso albums I own (and I own a ton!), nothing out there really compares to his innovative showcasing of stripped down heaviness. Also, and this is crucial: HE DOES NOT MAKE ANY OF HIS NEW MUSIC IN THAT "NU-METAL" SOUND, yet it has sharp & technical searing. He's got an old school sound bulked up for the new millenium. This is very important for instrumental guitar music in this day 'n age. He wrote in an email that with "Electric Horrorland" he took care & time in going back 'n forth to the mastering studio, and it really shows. He obviously does all of this horror justice not for recognition, but for the pure love of it all. It's rare to have a talented, independent horror musician AND fiction writing ambassador like Michael Knight. Hard work pays off. He's not into trends and has all the originality with no B.S.! - fulfilling the unspoken needs of the masses.
03:31 Twisted Metal
03:48 Soul Searcher
02:06 Carnivore
00:51 Stalk
04:55 Resident Evil
00:27 Scarab
03:17 Quake
02:27 Electric Horrorland
03:41 Shadow Creeper
03:04 Ghost Recon
01:38 The Haunt
03:18 Driver
Come on everyone, please support this musician and buy 1 or all of his phenomenal albums! Trust me, your music collection will be WAY better for it!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

"Big Trouble In Little China" score from 1986

Here is another superb score by John Carpenter from one of his best films: "Big Trouble In Little China". This score is with his multi-album collaborator Alan Howarth. I saw this movie at the theatre with my parents in 1986. I had already loved John Carpenter's movies as a young child at that point and when I saw this film, it kind of threw me. I didn't understand the comedy in it, as it very much is in an almost slapstick way. Yet as I got older, I realized the masterpiece of comedy, eerieness, mysteriousness and of course great action all wrapped up in one. All of the supernatural & creature elements make it fill out perfectly. This movie is so much fun that I could watch it over and over again. Jack Burton is an awesome character - he kicks ass and likes to goof around, and he makes his own path. This stellar score rules along with the Coupe De Villes (John & his buddies) tracks. There are some bonus tracks from Alan Howarth & 1 from "Escape From New York". Enjoy!
ATTENTION!: This file has just been re-uped 2-27-2009!