Islandrocks 🏝 Covering Horrors of the Past (2018)

Covering Horrors of the Past (2018) (71 minutes)
Compilation album by Islandrocks.

Self-released by Islandrocks.
Followed by Revisiting Odyssey’s of Horrors (2018)

Available from

Islandrocks: Covering Horrors of the Past (2018)

Grab your Walkman, your headphones, your roller skates, and press play! ▷ Islandrocks is about to give you an audible history of Italian and American cult cinema; covering horrors of the past!

Underrated Swedish musician Thomas Nyholm – better known by the moniker Islandrockshas been creating cover versions of exploitation, cult classic theme songs since the early days of YouTube; first releasing an early cover of Zombie Flesh Eaters (1979), followed by The New York Ripper (1982), and then Cannibal Holocaust (1980).

Nyholm’s early medley ‘Fulci Funk’ is what originally attracted me to the sound of Islandrocks; taking the compositions of Fabio Frizzi, and creating a funk inspired track that will have you dancing the Fulci way! All music is arranged and performed by Islandrocks, and throughout the years Nyholm would continue to release cover versions, even tweaking and re-recording compositions he had previously released in different styles/genres.

Covering Horrors of the Past is Thomas Nyholm’s first full-length record; a collection of the best cover material Islandrocks had released before being compiled and placed into a tape deck. Each track is intended to be played at the roller disco, with a cover of Claudio Simonetti’s Demons creating an orgy of bloodshed with its diabolical melody, before Francesco De Masi’s The New York Ripper arrives with a razorblade and tears up the dance floor. “Quack! Quack! Quack!”

Past and present collide in a vortex of fear as Walter Rizzati’s The House by the Cemetery forces the tempo to slow down; your eardrums infected by its beautiful symphony, before John Carpenter’s Escape from New York synth-driven melodies provide the cure. Powerful baselines open the seven dreaded gateways to hell, and the dead walk the earth during Fabio Frizzi’s The Beyond before silence… Breath for a few seconds. John Carpenter is about to assault your senses with Assault on Precinct 13, and remember…we are only on track 6!

On Side A (track 7), Islandrocks’ rendition of Fabio Frizzi’s City of the Living Dead combines electric guitar with synthesizer seamlessly from the bowels of the earth, whilst on Side B (track 15) the guitars are stripped back; your eyes now bleeding from the pounding drum beat. If you are not yet convinced that this is the perfect Halloween record, John Carpenter returns once again, with Nyholm’s version of the 1978 classic! You can’t kill the boogeyman…

An updated version of the aforementioned ‘Fulci Funk’ – a funky combination of The Beyond and Zombie Flesh Eaters – indicates the end of the first half of the record. Close your eyes and let the guitar solo tear the flesh of the living! Fast forward to Stephen Horelick and Gary Sales’ Madman, and the aggressive sound of heavy metal, but don’t say his name… Don’t even whisper his name!

“Excellent cover – and since I wrote the original, that should mean something.”
– Gary Sales, musical director on Madman

Next, Nyholm has us all banging our heads to ‘De Döda Bakom Dörren’; a track inspired by The Dead Next Door and Joy Circuit’s ‘The Answer’, before breaking into the synth-heavy Cannibal Holocaust and Class of Nuke ‘Em High; the guitar-driven Suspiria and Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D.; Zombie Flesh Eaters’ disco inferno, and finally one of the most interesting renditions of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells (The Exorcist) I personally have heard.

Two bonus tracks end the horrors of the past: a jazz version of The New York Ripper and an earlier version of ‘Fulci Funk’; a very welcome addition to the record, and a perfect song to close the album. Thomas Nyholm is a master of his (witch)craft and, dare I say, he has exceeded a few of the original compositions in my mind. Not only is each track faithful to the original, but Nyholm has found a way to make each song transcend its cinematic counterpart; creating a uniqueness to the themes you have never heard like this before. Every horror fanatic should own this cover album!

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Ken Wynne

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