Cluster Buster – Total Terror

Artist: Cluster Buster
Album: Total Terror
Release Date: 16 July 2014

If you start to read this review late at night then I must warn you, make sure you are not alone…

Yes, everything from the title to the price of the LP ($6.66) is enough to make anyone peer past the curtain to check that no one is there.   But wait, we haven’t even got to the music yet.

Scared?  You should be.

After fourteen tracks you may need something to calm your nerves, and this is a good thing.

Released through Future 80’s Records, this is a great example of how a horror movie soundtrack should sound.  The artist has taken influence from a great era of cult-slasher movies and run with it.

The title track ‘Total Terror’ is the calm before the storm.  It is the electronic heartbeat of the album.  The slow thud reminds me of John Carpenter’s tense movie offerings.  You know it’s coming and the music keeps you there, gripped.  I love its tense feel.

We move onto ‘Valentines Bluff’, which to me is the standard of any horror movie introduction to its characters.  It has a play-full side but still encompasses an underlying darkness, of which lurks throughout all tracks on offer. This formula works very well.

‘The Body Count Continues’ is like a TV news bulletin, highlighting the horror that is gripping the town.  There is also a hint of a hero detective coming into play, one who will stop at nothing to get closer to the killer.  He’s hard-boiled, so is the track.  There is urgency here.

Do you remember the original Friday the 13th?  Well if ever there was a good warning for love-lusting young adults then ‘Don’t Go Skinny Dipping’ would have been a good one. This track has a very distorted, almost twisted, intro that leads to a frenetic and punchy track.

The next few tracks, ‘Deranged’ and ‘ Pierced With Sheers’ are both fast paced and make you feel you are being chased through woodland, in the dark and every turn looks the same as the previous.  By the time you get to the gothic piano at the end of the later you can only hope you have made it to the cottage.

We are given a reprieve here as the tempo is taken down a few notches, getting to the meat of the LP.  ‘Female Protagonist’ has a very ghostly synth that winds its way through your mind, with some serious drum machine backing it up.  I actually lost track of time whilst listening.

Had you forgotten about being scared?  Well, your reminder comes in the form of ‘Hypovolemic Shock’ kicked in.  It moves at a good pace, dropping beats when it needs to, and has the most sublime ending.  My heart almost mimicked the title by forgetting to pump enough blood around my body the track was that effective. A sublime ending too.

‘Cleavage to Cleaver’ is one of the best titles for a track I have ever heard, I just wanted to skip to this track as soon as I gazed over the playlist.  Unfortunately the humor is left here.  I can picture the hulking slasher, stalking the last of its prey and I fear I am one of them…

Again, another good title, and an interesting record.  ‘Axe You a Few Questions’ is a very cinematic record and one that would have fit in on any 80’s gore fest.  You feel you are being drawn to the end of the picture, which is fitting.

This is because ‘Gearing Up For The Final Showdown’ does exactly what it says on the tin.  You are being primed, here, for the finale.  I can picture the movie’s hero fuelled with anger, covered in his best friends blood and unable to clench his fists any tighter.  If I were gearing up for anything, I would listen to this for sure.

You could say the same for the artist: ‘He Never Stops’.  Like the rest of album, this is relentless.  Just like a cold-blooded fictional character.

The LP carries on finishing with a flourish.  ‘Nightmares In a Damaged Brain’ has the killer staring at a reflection, and then flashbacks ensue.  He see’s what he became and what he has achieved, is there a hint of guilt?  However, it is too late as our hero exacts a redemption you cannot come back from and we are left with a lot of questions, but no answers.

‘Crime Scene’ creates an un-nerving finish.  With a strong Influence by one of the greatest horror movie title tracks of all time, ‘Halloween’, we have a delicious final track.  We are not only left with the mysterious disappearance of the killer’s body but also a tempter for a career in its ascension.

Reading up on the artist I gather he is very passionate and has really enjoyed creating ‘Total Terror’.  I like that.  You can tell there has been a lot of thought and energy put into this project, so a lot of credit is due.  I thoroughly enjoyed listening and feeling the work that has gone into it.

This artist is clearly confident and his fans feed from that.  You can’t knock confidence and you certainly can’t knock this album.

You can be scared though.