Il Ballo delle Castagne - Soundtrack For Unreleased Herzog Movie album review

Herzog brought to life with a new slant.

Il Ballo delle Castagne - Soundtrack For Unreleased Herzog Movie album artwork

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Any band who reference master German movie maker Werner Herzog are potentially leaping into a critical furnace. A unique filmmaker, Herzog traverses a fine line between reality and surrealism. So, for any band to boldly proclaim an album to be the music for a movie he’s yet to make… well, it’s daft. Except… Except these Italians have remarkably carried off their ambition and come up with a quite brilliant album that does evoke the inspiration of Herzog, but in doing so also exposes a spectrum of musical reference points which reveal a stream of subliminal visions. Soundtrack… is both dream and nightmare.

It reaches into the subconscious through the use of gothic, ambient, psychedelic and electronic passages. It’s the stuff of which Herzog constructs his own interpretations of life and its diverse sweep. This was originally released last year in limited vinyl form. The new version has two extra tracks, Il Sole Muore and 6.35 Minuten Vor Dem Ende Der Zeit Explodiert Die Erde. These provide an almost apocalyptic climax, which follows on from the morbidity of Sicut In Caelo. It’s a stunning musical journey. The challenge now is for Herzog to make a movie worthy of the soundtrack.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.