Review: John Carpenter’s ‘Weeping Ghost’ Blends Classic Horror Elements With Contemporary Electronics

John Carpenter | Weeping Ghost (leading single)| Sacred Bones Records

Single Release Date: October 27, 2020

Lost Themes III: After Death Release Date: 5 February, 2021

In a perfect turn of events and arriving just in time for Halloween, the most iconic horror and thriller filmmaker as well as composer / sound design maestro John Carpenter has released the leading single off his upcoming album – the third installment in his Lost Themes series, aptly titled ‘Weeping Ghost’.

Released via Sacred Bones Records, ‘Lost Themes III: Alive After Death’ is scheduled to be released on February 5th, 2021 and sees a whole new approach from the legendary artist when it comes to crafting music. The success of Carpenter’s previous Lost Themes albums saw the artist for the first time ever release music that was not intended as a soundtrack for a film; aside from his involvement in director David Gordon Green’s 2018 direct sequel to Carpenter’s ultimate classic 1970’s horror film ‘Halloween.’

Another change in Carpenter’s creations, as well as the previously mentioned soundtrack for David Gordon Green’s sequel and upcoming ‘Halloween’ installments; John has been working with his son Cody Carpenter as well as his godson Daniel Davies, with the trio inspiring one another to create in distinctly innovative and new manners, allowing them to produce sounds unlike anything before while still retaining the signature style that is associated with (John) Carpenter.

We begin with a theme, a bass line, a pad, something that sounds good and will lead us to the next layer…

We then just keep adding on from there. We understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, how to communicate without words, and the process is easier now than it was in the beginning. We’ve matured.

John Carpenter

Weeping Ghost‘ opens with a sound perhaps reminiscent of a deep, desperate exhale by that of a breathless spectre; a steady, driven yet gradual pulse begins to seep through the skin, as a powerful, striking beat introduces the narrative as the auditory tale of ‘Weeping Ghost’ turns opaque. Haunting synthesizers ebb and flow in the darkness of their gloomy electronic tide, malevolent storm clouds of layered distortion crackling as lightning strikes in the distance. Potent, theatrical keys break through; bringing to mind that of gothic cathedrals, struck in the dim light of candles and cinematic religiosity. 

Confident, vivid synths strike in companionship; the timbre immediately bringing to mind that of the iconic synthesizer driven 80’s horror-flick soundtracks riddled with rich electronics. Glittering arpeggios dot the track as exploding stars, the continuous heartbeat never swaying – until a segue into a brief interlude, with the soundscape cradling the classic feel of early percussive techniques and proud keys – before returning to its preceding rhythm, pounding beats and ghostly melodies.

The introduction of distorted guitar adds a wondrous touch to the track, a feeling of nostalgia immediately setting in – with the percussion, steady beats and perfectly interwoven electronics, ‘Weeping Ghost’ most certainly tells a thoroughly sharp, expressive and dark tale through its blend of classic and contemporary techniques blended into an overall fantastic track. 

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Rating: 9 / 10

Feature Image: John Carpenter via FANTASIA FEST