Audio Review: CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD (1983) VINYL LP

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REVIEW: CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD (1983) VINYL LP / COMPOSER: FABIO FRIZZI / PUBLISHER: STELLA EDIZIONI MUSICALI / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW

The recent re-release of Fabio Frizzi's score to Lucio Fulci's Paura Nella Città Dei Morti Viventi (or, in English, City of the Living Dead) is, at first glance, a pretty basic version compared to what we've been seeing lately. There are two versions: one on red vinyl, limited to 300 copies, and another on black, limited to 200 copies. Each comes with two posters, both of which are reproductions of previously existing art. There's no special artwork – the cover's the same one as on the original Italian pressing 32 years ago – and it seems pretty bare-bones.

However, when you listen to the record, that's when you understand what this re-release is all about. These are all tracks pulled from the master tapes, so you have an analogue to analogue transfer, making this a really warm record. Well, at least as warm as a film about a gate to hell opening up can be.

All kidding aside, though, this is a fantastic sounding LP. Over all, what's most impressive is the surprising low end. The bass and drums kick while electronics wail behind them. It's most notable on "Irrealtà Di Suoni," which throbs and pulses with bass guitar. That track also provides the best example of how well balanced this repress is, given that the bass at no point overwhelms the subtle flute and Mellotron accents.

In addition to the low end, the sharper, almost knife-edged accents present in "Introduzione-Paura-Liberazione" and several other cuts are sonically crisp, cutting right through and almost piercing one's eardrums as you listen. If you're listening on headphones, you'll find yourself aurally attacked at several points by electric guitar.

The only quibble I have with the whole release is that it seems to be padded out. There are four alternate versions of "Verso L'Alba," which is far more funk bass than I prefer. However, that's a minor issue, considering just how good Stella Edizioni Musicali's re-release of this score sounds.


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