After several years of being a Bandcamp-only release, Repeated Viewing's Frozen Existence finds its way to physical release via Lunaris Records. Given that this was one of Alan Sinclair’s first releases as Repeated Viewing, it’s a lot more derivative than his more recent work, but as the score for a Lucio Fulci-esque supernatural gorefest, it certainly works well. Most of Frozen Existence is pretty much atmospherics which really didn’t grab this reviewer too much, but the opening and closing cuts are full on Fabio Frizzi Italo bangers.
It’s spooky and laden with foreboding, and the way the cuts all blend together with whispering winds, crowing birds, and strange otherworldly sounds, it takes over your very ability to function as each side plays. Frozen Existence is utterly sinister, and while Sinclair only occasionally rips into the guitars which dominate the opening and closing themes, as on “Investigation Part 1,” he more than ably counterbalances that with the eerie synth work for which he’s become so well known, as on “Investigation Part 2.”
That latter track, which closes Frozen Existence’s first side, makes use of those bent and pitch-shifted tones with which Frizzi made so many disturbing scores. They drone on insistently behind a keyboard part which is almost spritely, but shot through with demonic intent due to that inescapable drone.
That drone is taken to its logical conclusion as the second side begins, and “Hope Unknown” swirls around a windswept tone, punctuated only by a repeated baseline. It goes on so long that “Love After Midnight,” which follows, despite being rather dark, feels positively uplifting in its wake. It might be the only track on Frozen Existence -- or in Repeated Viewing’s entire catalog -- which feels upbeat at all actually, which is a rather startling conclusion to reach.
The latter half of the second side isn’t quite as dynamic as the rest of the album, and it gets a little dull until the final cut, but it’s still fairly solid music. At the end of it all, you can hear the underpinnings of what would later become much more thoroughly realized and unique takes on film scores by Sinclair, but even rough and derivative Repeated Viewing is still worth listening to.
FROZEN EXISTENCE (2016) / COMPOSER: REPEATED VIEWING / LABEL: LUNARIS RECORDS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW