As the musical movement he pretty much created has blown up, legendary horror director John Carpenter has made an incredible return as a synth artiast. The man behind Halloween, The Thing, and Escape From New York creeped out the world with 2015’s Lost Themes and 2016’s Lost Themes II, not to mention the soundtrack to 2018’s revival of the Halloween franchise. Now, Carpenter has revealed a new single from his upcoming Lost Themes III: Alive After Death, this one titled “The Dead Walk,” and it’ll have listeners wishing it was October all over again.
It would have been easy for Carpenter to just rip off contemporaries like Goblin and Fabio Frizzi when it came to “The Dead Walk,” as zombie horror is such a big part of the synthwave movement. Instead, though, Carpenter’s latest track goes ’80s over ’70s, and brings a solidly American vibe with its chugging distorted guitars and death march rhythms. The result is a compelling piece of spooky music that reminds fans how much the whole synthwave genre owes to a single man’s vision.
“John Carpenter famously called the first Lost Themes album ‘a soundtrack for the movies in your mind,’ says the record’s press release. “On Alive After Death those movies are even more vivid, with song titles among his most evocative as well. Lead single ‘Weeping Ghost’ thrillingly conjures its title figure in a wash of synthesizer, making the listener’s neck hairs stand on end as the aural specter stalks the halls of a dilapidated mansion. The pulsing ‘The Dead Walk’ makes the zombie apocalypse feel like a rave. The gloomy, atmospheric closing track ‘Carpathian Darkness’ casts shadow on the album with its strikingly effective minimal piano and splashes of twinkling synth. Each of the ten songs is a universe unto itself.”
Listen to “The Dead Walk” below:
Lost Themes III: Alive After Death comes out February 5th, 2021, and is available for preorder. Check out the full tracklisting for the record below:
- Alive After Death
- Weeping Ghost
- Dripping Blood
- Dead Eyes
- Vampire’s Touch
- Turning the Bones
- The Dead Walk
- Carpathian Darkness
Words by Chris Krovatin