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Blakula – Permanent Midnight review

Italian duo Simon Maccari and Andrea Bellentani aka the Diaphanoids re-emerge from their record releasing slumber newly christened as Blakula, presenting this brilliant album on their spiritual home Bear Funk. Nominally a soundtrack documenting the life of a fictional Hawaiian Vampire seduced by the art scene of late 70s NYC, Permanent Midnight allows Maccari and Bellentani an opportunity to indulge their fascination with the classic Giallo horror genre championed by Dario Argento. There is however a deft uniqueness to the ten tracks presented here thanks in no small part to the usage of live musicians throughout.

The haunting atmospherics of album opener “Witches Crew” where ghoulish chants are the backdrop to visceral bassline, chugging live drums and horrorcore keys sets the tone. From there on the album sways with brilliant menace between genres, the paranoia inducing psychedelics of “Where The Angels Fear to tread” sandwiched between the voodoo funk grit of “Vampire Building” and “Any Soul You Could Buy” a three minute blues tinged oddity.

The more discerning DJs will adopt tracks such as the punk funk strut of “Miss Morgue” and heavy percussive sleaze that is “Feed Your Demons” but Permanent Midnight works just as well as an album to lose yourself in. As it draws towards its brilliant conclusion, the cavernous string heavy soundscape of “Surrender to The Shadows” fades away before the concluding title track bursts with energy, a crash of stadium rock drums the prelude to one last intricately arranged funk workout heavy on the horns. Forget the god awful witch house tag that’s being bandied around, Bear Funk have just provided the perfect musical accompaniment for Halloween.

Tony Poland