NIGHT OF THE DEMONS (1988)

PrintE-mail Written by Nick Spacek

Dennis Michael Tenney’s work on Night of the Demons is a score which offers up a great sense of mood. Listening to it, the sense of foreboding which comes through is astonishing. Side A’s build and tension really get things up and running, while Side B really gets things cranking in terms of action and development. It rises and rises, building up through the aptly-titled The Cue from Hell, which threatens to absolutely break any sense of hope one might have.


Thankfully, just as your sense of fear and panic is at its absolute height, the score takes a break, and we’re treated to three songs which get played in Night of the Demons’ party scenes: Computer Date, Victims of the Press, and The Beast Inside, which come across a little fuzzy and lo-fi, but definitely recreate what would’ve been blasted out of a boombox during an ‘80s haunted house party. Maybe not full-on Killed by Death material, but still pretty cool faux-punk.

Listening to the entire isolated score in this way also allows quite a few details to come through, otherwise overwhelmed by screaming and killing and whatnot. The slightest sense of running water which comes at the end of the tracks Henry Jogs and Judy Runs makes for a nice nod to an eventual plot point. It’s a great early bit of foreshadowing which was likely never noticed by anyone watching the film itself.

Side D’s collection of audio effects from various segments of the movie is great, but ultimately just seems like a way to pad out a release that didn’t quite fill two LPs. It’s especially noticeable, given that most of Side C consists of really short cues, rather than the epic set pieces of the first LP. You can also hear the faintest hint of dialogue snippets where the edit wasn’t quite clean, which actually makes this reviewer wish they’d added in a few choice quotes to aurally set the scene.

The packaging is wonderful. The gatefold sleeve is something which always looks nice, and Lunaris uses it to great effect, giving the artwork a chance to be something new on the cover, along with a nod to the opening credits in the artwork on the back. The inclusion of the original poster image within makes for a nicely rounded presentation, as does the lyric sheet, which features a selection of iconic images from Night of the Demons. The use of spot varnish for the logo on the front and back covers – especially the clear cover version one can only see when the light hits it right – is a solid touch, as well.

The 180-gram black and red marble LPs sound wonderful, with very little crackle or hiss. They give a solid, weighty dimension to the entire package, and the colour matches the artwork and film gore to perfection. Lunaris has been raising their bar with each successive release, and with Night of the Demons, one can’t wait to see what they do next.

NIGHT OF THE DEMONS (1988) / COMPOSER: DENNIS MICHAEL TENNEY / LABEL: LUNARIS RECORDS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

 


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