Giallo! - One Suite For The Murderer is a compilation of pieces inspired by Profondo Rosso (Deep Red), a seminal thriller directed in 1975 by Dario Argento featuring a famous soundtrack by Goblin. It was released in 2008 on the independent French label Musea Records in collaboration with the Finnish Colossus. Some talented Italian artists were recruited to interpret with their own music and lyrics the scenes and the characters of the film, creating something new while paying in the same time a due tribute to Dario Argento's work, one of the best known Italian Gialli. In fact, "giallo" is an Italian word that means "yellow" but that also defines a genre of literature and film named after the colour of the cover background of a series of cheap paperback mystery novels... All the artists involved in this project showed a great respect for the film that inspired it and for its mood. Anyway, if you are not familiar with it, do not worry: the rich booklet with its nice artwork and the extended liner notes will make you understand what the music is about.
The opener is a short instrumental track, "Frammento Rosso / Intro", that sets the atmosphere. Composer and keyboardist Alfio Costa (from Prowlers, Tilion, Daal) here plays Grand piano and Minimoog with great effectiveness conveying a strong sense of mystery and tension...
Then comes the first suite, "Visions of Helga" by Dark Session. Dark Session is mainly the brainchild of composer and multi-instrumentalist Flavio Costa (from Tilion) who, with the help of his brother Alfio (keyboards) and Hamadi Trabelsi (vocals), here paints in black feelings and notes trying to explore what's behind the mind of the murderer. This piece describes the part of the film where a famous psychic, Helga Ulmann, perceives the evil presence of a serial killer during a public meeting... Through his eyes and his hands she looses her soul and her life! It's a prevalently instrumental track that, in my opinion, perfectly fits the subject matter mirroring in some way the images of the film with sounds and words.
The second suite, "Vecchi giochi" (Old Games), was provided by Leviathan, a Roman band whose roots date back to 1985. Here the line up features Fabio Amici (keyboards, Hammond), Fabio Donna (bass), Andrea Moneta (drums, electric guitar) plus the guests vocalists Pierfrancesco Drago (from Revelation and Arcadelt) and Rossella Salvucci. This piece is divided into four parts and it was inspired by the private investigations of the main character of the film, Marcus Daly. The music and the intriguing lyrics by Beatrice Pietrangeli describe this particular hunting game from the point of view of the lurking murderer rather than that of the improvised detective. So, Marcus Daly here becomes the pray. The first part, "L'avvertimento" (The warning) begins softly with organ and piano in the forefront and theatrical male vocals... The killer's house is like a piano where he composes his troubled existence, every fear is like a black and white sequence, a music from the heart that is driving him insane, he's ready to strike and he's biding his time in the dark... Thin deadly melodies soar on the second part, "L'indagine" (The investigation), delivered by the wonderful voice of Rossella Salvucci. The third part, "L'assassinio" (The murder) features a long instrumental section and the rhythm rises... Run away if you can, but beware! The killer knows where and when he can get you... The final part, "La villa" (The manor), is disquieting and darker than ever, there are some narrative vocals and a church-like choir in the background, then the music and lyrics lead you to the closed gates of mysterious, abandoned villa... A great track!
The third suite, "Suite dall'inconscio dell'assassino" (Suite from the subconscious of the murderer), is the contribute by Floating State, an experienced band from Bari featuring Marco Esposito (vocals, classical guitar, flute), Grazia Stella (sax), Mimmo Ferri (Theremin, electric piano, organ, synthesizers), Gigi Ferri (electric guitars), Francesco Antonino (electric bass) and Beatrice Birardi (drums, percussion, vibraphone). This piece is divided into ten sections and begins where the previous track left you: in front of the gate of the mysterious manor. You can hear the gate creaking on its hinges, then the music and lyrics take you in and welcome you to a nightmare where the insane instincts of the murderer, his feelings and sensations unfurl as if they were on trial in a hazy court of justice, accused by his subconscious. There's delirium and madness, evil and mercy in this outstanding track that features also some short excerpts from "School at Night (Lullaby)", from the original soundtrack of the film.
A short, evocative instrumental track by Alfio Costa, "Mirrors / Outro", ends this excellent album where the music flows away in perfect coherence without weak moments.
Various Artists: Giallo! - One Suite For The Murderer (2008). Other opinions:
Olav Martin Bjørnsen: As with all releases in what is often referred to as The Colossus Projects, this one is also an outing that should appeal most to fans of ‘70's symphonic rock, in particular those who enjoy long and elaborate epic compositions... If you enjoy intense moods and atmospheres, and find dark emotions fascinating, this is a release that should have a good chance of providing many hours of joy... (read the complete review HERE)
Alfio and Flavio Costa: