Friday, August 28, 2020

EP Review: hororhaus "entrance" (Independent) by Dave Wolff

Project: hororhaus
Location: Woodstock, New York
Country: USA
Genre: Experimental
EP: entrance
Format: Compact disc, digital album
Label: Independent
Release date: July 14, 2020
Imagine if you will, an old style carnival of freaks or an old style haunted house attraction full of human oddities, witches, axe murderers, vampires, ghouls, the gremlins from “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” and other assorted night creatures. If you discovered creature features at a young age and couldn’t seem to purge the memories for years afterward, you’ll find it rewarding to listen to “entrance,” the debut EP from hororhaus. hororhaus is the brainchild of Vasaria drummer Scott Harris whose fascination with horror and paranormal movies of the b-grade variety (everything from “The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari” to “Frankenstein” to “The Fog” and “Creepshow”) compelled him for years to create conceptual tales in song form, as multilayered as they are minimalist. This EP resounds with the impressions old b-movies left on Harris though they remained beneath mainstream radar (for me it was “Nosferatu 1922” that petrified and enthralled me). I recall a line from the 2018 movie “Hellraiser: Judgment” that goes, “Technology may have advanced, but sin remains unchanged.” In other words, the capacity of old horror movies to evoke responses is as timeless as old style boardwalk carnivals and exhibitions of strange people since what lacked technologically was made up for in mystification. That fascination of the unknown still speaks to horror fans, and you’ll get it here with a postmodern soundtrack mixed with analog and vintage instruments. While Harris records with a host of synths and drum programming machines to give the EP a modern push, the elements of nightmare he said he desired putting into the songs are provided by the organ, keyboards and vocal tracks that sound like they’re inside your mind. The villains from those horror movies of yesteryear seem to become real as they escort you to whatever hell they please so you can experience the horrors up close and personal. A hell from which there’s no escape because you’ve crossed into another universe where time operates differently from time in our own. As such, when the nightmare ends it begins again, maybe in another form but always the same nightmare. If you want to listen to something that came from a heretical mind and be spooked at the same time, hororhaus is a project to check out. –Dave Wolff

Scott Harris: Music, lyrics, vocals, programming

Track list:
1. entrance
2. hearse
3. nonataya
4. witch tryal
5. axe killer
6. never leave (ending?!?)

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