NYC based musician Steve Moore is best known to many for his work with Anthony E. Paterra as Zombi. Taking their name from the Italian release of Dawn of the Dead, Zombi have been bringing synth heavy Goblin and John Carpenter inspired instrumentals to the ears of eager listeners for more than fifteen years now. Both Paterra and Moore have also put out their share of solo releases in the last decade or so, with Moore also having written and performed soundtracks for several films including the 2005 documentary Horror Business, and 2015 Belgian boyscout horror CUB.
The Mind’s Eye is the soundtrack to a 2016 horror film about two psychokinetics who find themselves captured by an evil, mad doctor intent on harnessing their abilities for his own gains. The Mind’s Eye soundtrack is eighty-five minutes in length, whereas the film is eighty-seven, which makes me think the music is a pretty integral part of the final package (although, I admit, I’ve only watched the trailer at this point). As with so many of these soundtrack albums though, I don’t think the film itself matters all that much when it comes to appreciating the music in its own right.
Over thirty-three tracks – beginning completely appropriately with Intro and ending with End Credits – Moore takes us on a cinematic journey which requires no images. From the subtle, chilly, scene setting of Police Station, to the dark action throb of Zack’s Out Of The Bag, to the triumphal yet tragic This Ends Now, we hear the story unfold. It’s difficult to pick out individual tracks and hold any up as “the best” on an album like this where each is pretty much just the next movement in the series. That said, there’s lot of heart-pounding percussive synth used to great effect on the record and that’s showcased particularly nicely in The Escape Pt 1 and 2. You’ve got the twinkly melancholy of tracks like Goodbye, and the out and out terror of the likes of Armstrong Splits. The Shot might be my current favourite with its subtle, scene-setting intro building gradually to a heart attack climax.
Anyone who enjoyed Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein’s Stranger Things soundtrack last year (as I did, very much) is more than likely also going to enjoy The Mind’s Eye. Both have that hyper-authentic 1980’s sound and feel while at the same time, managing never to stray into the cheesier “retro” territory sometimes covered by the likes of Laserhawk and Nightsatan (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). The Mind’s Eye is an absorbing, evocative almost-hour-and-a-half of cinematic synth sounds proving that, even with the rising popularity of so called 21st century synthwave, Steve Moore is still very much at the forefront of the genre and at the top of his game.
Scribed by: John Reppion