Over the last few years, faux soundtracks have become a popular subgenre of electronic musicians inspired by film scores. Many aim to create a sense of tension or fear, as many of them take aspects from the horror movie music of John Carpenter, Fabio Frizzi, and the like. Matt Akers’ imaginary film score, Rage, steps outside the usual frightfests, and instead aims for a higher purpose.
As Lunaris Records states in the press for the album, the score for this “imagined police procedural slasher film [...] Rage was birthed from Akers obsession with reading about the serial killer, ‘The Original Night Stalker’ and his love of slasher and police films.” While there are a few excellent pieces like Bad Juju, which tie into the likes of 1986’s Cobra, a film that ably combines the two genres, that music isn’t what makes Rage so appealing.
Where Akers really soars musically is his ability to convey complex emotional states. The most interesting aspect of Rage is the fact that there’s a truly sorrowful tone to so much of the music on the album. Kill Kit, I WIll Find You, and Clock Is Ticking are all track titles which bring to mind a far different emotional response than melancholia, but the songs’ sweeping minor chords and slow progression are achingly sad.
It all concludes with Into Thin Air, a perfect closing credits song, wherein the viewer discovers the killer has somehow survived their fall/shooting/stabbing/burning and escaped capture. It’s initially intense, and then mysterious, before fading to silence. The journey Akers takes the listener on via Rage’s music is as intense as any viewing experience.
Rage is available on red vinyl from Lunaris Records, and comes with an insert that ties into the mysterious killer from Akers’ imagined movie. It’s a strong package, and looks exactly as if it were released in the early ‘80s. Were one to come across it in a shop, unawares, the music and jacket would make them think it was a lost classic. The album is also available digitally via Matt Aker’s Bandcamp page.
AUDIO REVIEW: RAGE (2018) / COMPOSED BY: MATT AKERS / RELEASED BY: LUNARIS RECORDS / AVAILABLE NOW