Listen up Deadites! Gruesome Joe here with the latest installment of the Musical Morgue right here on Rotting Flesh Radio.
This week, we’re taking a little bit of a retrospective into the catalogue of a top-notch composer that I’ve reviewed before here in the Morgue. Almost a year ago to the day I reviewed a great album called Morbid Melodies by Frank Petruccelli of Petruccelli Productions, and this week we’re going a bit further back to his second album entitled Music To Die For. This album was his second release, following his first full-length album of music featured in Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion.
One of the album’s greatest assets, and one of the very first things I noticed while giving it a listen, was the sheer diversity of all the tracks. This is an album I would consider a great go-to if I were to put together multiple varied scenes in a haunted attraction or home haunt. The tracks range in everything from a Victorian manor, a space ship, even all the way to an Egyptian tomb. There are actually few albums that I can think of that attempt to have this kind of versatility and breadth that actually do it well. Petruccelli nails this perfectly, and actually intertwines the musical compositions with various special effects and synthesized elements that create 16 superb tracks to die for…
Because the album covers several genres all in one go, it’s nearly impossible for me to give it any sort of linear review—so let’s just cut to my favorites. I think out of the entire album, my favorite track would have to be “Monsters Under The Bed.” I absolutely love how this track takes a very familiar children’s tune and literally decays it while we listen… We start with the light music box melody, but then as the organ and sound effects begin to wash in, the familiarity begins to break down with Petruccelli’s sinister arrangement. He utilizes very dark pads and sweeps to create a sort of pulsing ambiance while the music box and pipe organ continue to tease us with the familiar tune. I really love how innocent the track is, all the while keeping an incredibly sinister and dark underbelly.
(“Monsters Under The Bed” clip)
Another very dark track that I thoroughly enjoyed was “Dark Hallways.” This track in particular kept a very ominous presence throughout by using a very haunting lone piano melody. This track was very reminiscent of my childhood, staying up way too late watching vampire movies on TV… This track would be a perfect addition to a parlor or gothic themed room in a haunted attraction because of its simple, foreboding nature.
(“Dark Hallways” clip)
The track that immediately follows “Dark Hallways” is titled “The Organ Donor” and is another very cool track that I thought would work great in a gothic or vampire themed room. The use of pipe organs, harpsichords, and lots of sound effects creates an all-encompassing soundscape that is ready to go right out of the box!
(“The Organ Donor” clip)
There were several tracks that I noticed on this CD that reminded me a lot of the soundtracks and soundscapes found in video games. I particularly enjoyed these tracks because their design is very functional when needing a looped piece of music or ambient sound all the while maintaining a constantly evolving texture that keeps the ear interested. Such tracks that come to mind are “Lost Souls,” “Shadows,” and “Dark Autumn Nights.”
(“Lost Souls,” “Shadows”, and “Dark Autumn Nights” clips)
Another very interesting facet of this album was Petruccelli’s use of synthesizers and synth sound effects mixed into his dark orchestrations. He really shows his chops when it comes to his knowledge of electronic music and composition with these tracks. You have both very environmental and effect heavy tracks such as “Crash Landing” that create a very creepy atmospheric piece…
(“Crash Landing” clip)
…and then you have him show the complete opposite side of the spectrum with a track like “Pulled Into the Light” where the use of the synthesizers create an almost fairytale like emotion. “Pulled Into the Light” in particular sounds like something out of a very dark film score. He maintains the use of bright, bell like synths while using effects and deeper pads to keep a very foreboding underbelly. The combination of the two produces a very surreal audio experience that I really, really enjoy.
(“Pulled Into the Light” clip)
So, overall I give this album two bloody stumps way up! Again, I really enjoyed how Petruccelli was able to maintain his great orchestrations all the while being able to touch upon multiple genres and soundscape styles to create a very robust and diverse album. There are lots of terrible albums out there that attempt to create something like Music To Die For, but your money would be much better spent by just picking up this album for yourself.
To get your copy of Music To Die For simply head over to www.MusicToDieFor.net and click on the CD Catalogue link. There you can purchase an actual CD or can link through to Petruccelli’s CDBaby site and can download the entire album instantly. The CD costs $13 and the MP3 download is just $9.99. You can also listen to more examples of tracks not highlighted in my review from the CDBaby page.
One good thing to note is that Frank does not charge any licensing fees to use his music within your haunted attraction or yard haunt. Simply head over to www.MusicToDieFor.net and send him an email letting him know that you’ll be using his music in your attraction. He does ask that you provide a link to his website on your website and to include his website URL on any posters or other promotional materials you use for your attraction. Help spread the word about Frank’s music through a little cross promotion and you’ve got yourself some pretty great royalty-free music for your attraction!
Well Deadites, that about does it for this week here in the Morgue. Be sure to tune is next time—I’m sure I’ll have more great tunes you’ll want to add to your collection. Also be sure to check out GruesomeJoe.com to check out the written version of my review, as well as all the links to buy the album and to check out the Petruccelli Productions website. I’m Gruesome Joe and I’ll be chilling out here in the Morgue, waiting for you… until next time…