At one point, I wanted this site to also cover music. In fact, you can find a few reviews waaaaay back when of some fantastic albums. Unfortunately, it became more of a chore to add music as we were getting loaded up with film after film. That isn’t a complaint by any stretch of the imagination, it’s just a fact. So, music had to make way for other geek things. Plus, we aren’t the type of people who want to cover the generic horror “music”-psychobilly, Misfits rip-off bands, gore metal, etc. We have a varied taste at The Blood Sprayer and it seemed best suited to just focus on film. Still, their are artists that will fit all too perfectly into a theme making it impossible to not cover. Italian Week posed the obvious of covering Goblin. Shit, look at all the soundtracks they did for Argento!! It’s irresponsible to not cover them. But, for me there is one Italian band, and one record in particular, that sounds like nightmares put to tape. Blood Sprayer readers, meet Il Balletto di Bronzo’s “Ys”.
Admittedly, Il Balletto di Bronzo has nothing to do with horror. Ys is not a score or soundtrack to any of our favorite Italian filth. The album is deserving of your attention because it sounds like what those movies are trying to do to you on the visual end. It’s a frightening up & down, back & forth of beautifully laid out movements. The melodies that drive the album play out like a narrative. Essentially, it moves in the same manner that a horror movie does. There is the the calm, eerie build that spikes with each emotional beat. As the record progresses, it reaches frighteningly cacophonous moments that would’ve perfectly heightened some of those insane Fulci moments. As the album draws to it’s close, you aren’t left with a feeling of relief. You’re left with the lingering oddness that the album drug you through.
A friend and fellow musician told me a story about a drive home from a show and falling asleep in their band’s van. One of his bandmates was driving and listening to Ys. He said that when he woke up, and heard the music that was playing, it scared the shit out of him. This is an example of what sort of emotion this record envokes. On the surface, you can view it as another weird prog rock record from the 70’s. But any fans of the band will tell you otherwise. On the short list of “terrifying” albums, this one ranks up their with the best of them.
Il Balletto di Bronzo didn’t have one of those long-ass, Rolling Stones careers. The band was short lived and barring a couple ill-advised reunions, have kind of vanished from the public eye. They’ve been sited as influences by a few modern bands like Mammoth Volume and Nurse With Wound and Ys has had a several reissues in countries like Japan. Still, the band’s work remains relatively unknown by most. In fact, the 2 people I know that enjoy this band are 2 people who’s musical taste and knowledge rivals most folks. But, I can assure you if you are a fan of Italian horror and understand how important the music is to those great films, you’d hear the same thing that I do when listening to this album. So, here’s my recommendation to you: Grab your copy of Fulci’s The Beyond, then snag a copy of this record (go ahead and download it. I’m not a saint-I’m not going to tell you what’s right or wrong.). Turn down the lights, start the movie and then fire up this album. You will see where fear and music meet and you’ll wonder the same that I do: Why the hell didn’t anyone use these guys for soundtrack work?!