By Dante Tomaselli
MVD Audio – 2014
Continuing where he left off with Scream In The Dark, Dante Tomaselli has crafted yet another mixture of sounds to tell the bone-chilling story of The Doll. This audio tale is a conceptual soundtrack for the upcoming supernatural shocker Tomaselli plans to make.
What was so cool about Tomaselli’s latest CD was not only the album as a whole but listening to all the little details within each of the ten tracks. There’s so much to take in and process that it makes for fun on repeated listens.
“The Doll” is a wild collection of all sorts of spooky stuff. Mad voices laugh, while doors slam and metal sounds warp around your brain. It almost feels like getting inside the mind of a small child investigating the outer reaches of their imagination. Five minutes in, it seems as though you get on a spinning carousal where a preacher speaks the gospel, while little baby voices tease and giggle in a contemptuous manner.
It doesn’t sound like the objects in “Toys” would be much fun for a child to play with. Tomaselli really controls the audio mix like a mad scientist combining a little girl’s voice, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” with dark instrumentation, rattling chains, metallic hits and other ghastly background noises to jar your senses. The loud slapping percussion sound that alternates hits on the left and right speakers is really effective at making you feel uneasy.
In “Séance” the composer goes for a serious atmosphere of dread. Judging from the composition, the dead you come in contact with don’t seem friendly.
The deep keyboard line in “Mannequins” runs into the pit of your soul. Every second it is heard gets your attention. You just know that the lay figures will be active along the lines of how they were utilized in the films Terror Trap or Maniac.
You can’t quite get your hands on anything solid in “Apparition.” The phantom nature of the cue has things shifting about with a focus on keeping things unsettled.
Voices that scurry around the one-minute mark in “Damned” are definitely disturbing. The gentle piano that comes in about three-minutes in was a big surprise.
“The Den” is a massive near thirteen-minute piece that sprawls its creepy tendrils across the lair inhabits. I like the dark movement around seven-minutes. At eight-minutes there are some quick electronic note runs that would make Goblin or Rick Wakeman proud. It sounds like a coven of witches live in the abode at the nine and half minute mark. Tomaselli goes for quiet ambience that pricks your skin rather than loud action approach.
There’s a real interesting string sound, that almost sounds like it came from a guitar in “Skeletons.” It’s pretty cool because it could easily represent bones.
Instead of composing “Halloween” in a traditional manner, Dante Tomaselli orchestrates the ninth cue as if he was Jean Michele Jarre. Dante reaches into his bag of electronic tricks to give listeners a treat. I actually think that this music would be okay for kids to listen to as well as adults. That’s not a knock but rather to say it’s appropriate for the whole family.
The last track “The Eye” is a conglomeration of creaky doors opening, hot electronic flashes, cavernous synth lines, doom laden dark clouds of audio thunder and screeching audio distortion. Voices flutter, while noises move from the left to right and then back.
Dante Tomaselli continues to see how far he can go into the world of electronic frequencies to illicit terror. He’s not playing it safe but rather taking chances and letting us all experience his outcome. Don’t be afraid to take the journey.