Yes, that’s a theremin you hear. Hollywood Burns debut album “Invaders” is your soundtrack for when the aliens come to wipe out the human race. In the ever increasing crowd of darksynth artists Hollywood Burns stands out with heavy hitters like Carpenter Brut and Perturbator. His “First Contact” EP in 2016 introduced us to his unique sound, and now “Invaders” takes it one step further and delivers a huge cinematic synth infused experience. It truly feels like the soundtrack to an epic otherworldly sc-fi apocalypse, and we’re extremely excited to present you with an exclusive stream of the album in its entirety. Give it a listen below,
“Invaders” releases on April 13th, 2018 via Blood Music and will be available on Bandcamp and you can preorder the vinyl LP available in Black, Transparent Red, or Blue Marble on Clear Base w/ Red Splatter.
Hollywood Burns was kind enough to give us a track by track breakdown of the album,
1 – Opening Titles
Years before making electronic music, I started by providing original scores, mostly orchestral, for audiovisual contents. For my previous EP, I had this rule to not use orchestral elements, because I wanted to master electronic music production first.
With this introduction I go back to my first love, making it sounds like the opening credits of a blockbuster movie. The main influence is obviously master John Williams, but it also has some Herrman / Elfman vibes.
It is basically a military march, predicting something terrible. The theremin, personifying the saucers, makes an interesting contrast with the rest of the orchestra and brings some lightness to the whole thing.
2. Black Saucers
First appeared on First Contact EP, I decided to bring back this track for two reasons: because I always thought it deserved a better production value, and because it fits well with the whole theme of the album.
It is a dogfight song. The story behind is that I was composing this song at the time I was doing some video editing and VFX for the trailer of Volkor X’s album « This Means War ». On few shots I had to model and design 3D spaceships. All this aerial images I had in mind influenced the composition of Black Saucers, and gave it this « fight in the sky » aspect. So it’s basically a song about evil star-fighters.
3. Scherzo no. 5 in Death Minor
For its orchestral and vintage scifi elements, « Scherzo no.5 in Death Minor » is probably the track that resumes the most the spirit of INVADERS. I tried to mix 50’s scifi movie scores with the energy of a 80s pop song, like an improbable crossover of Bonnie Tyler and Bernard Herrmann. And if the beginning is light-hearted and can make laugh some people, it’s only to make the second part of the song more desperate. To modern darskynth have been added strings and piano parts to increase the dramatic and epic aspects of this frenzied tale.
The title is a tribute to John Williams works (“Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra”, “Scherzo for X-Wings”)
4. Carnal Encounter of the Third Kind
My first love song. With a tragic conclusion.
Taking inspirations from old thriller movies, the sexy vibes of the first part bring some diversity the the whole album.
It’s one of the first track I worked on for the album, but after having written the first part I was stuck and had no idea how to finish it. One year passed before I was able to compose the second part. It explains why the mood changes suddenly after the break. Some producers compose really quickly, but in my case I always go slow and let time and personal experiences bring new ideas.
Olivier Marechal who was already featured on my previous release came back for a wonderful solo. But it is also the first time we recorded live drums for a track. Remi Meilly added more humanity to the rhythm of the song, and it definitely make the last part even more emotional.
5. Girls with Guns
It was composed far before the #metoo campaign, but it founds its origins in the same scourge. I was just sad and tired to see all these testimonies on twitter of girls being harassed. It touched me and Girls with Guns was made in reaction of all of that. It sounds a bit opportunist said like that, maybe naive, but it was very genuine.
I tried to make it sounds elegant and badass at the same. It’s an optimistic track about dignity, and taking control of your life.
6. L’Era delle Ceneri
Probably the darkest track of Invaders. The title means « The Age of Cenders ». Just in the first notes you can hear a direct influence of Italian giallo movies, but it’s a mix of a lot of things. From Goblin and Justice, to The Algorithm.
Usually my tracks are very fast and I try to bring a new idea every 2 seconds, but this one is more experimental. It is basically one pattern developed during 5 minutes by adding different layers and arrangements.
7. Bazaar of the Damned
Taking distance from the vintage scifi atmosphere, « Bazaar of the Damned » is a tribute to James Bond and Indiana Jones exotic atmospheres, with some cyberpunk vibes. It tells the story of a manhunt through a mystical place somewhere in North Africa. It is the first track I composed for the album (except the 2 remasters), it has a strong soundtrack aspect with traditional Arabic musical instruments, but also some The Algorithm influences in the second part.
8. Came to Annihilate
An other song that was already in my previous release and I remastered. I made it like if it was a song for a musical. The whole composition is based on the surprise: there is a theremin solo, a danceable chorus when you don’t expect, a dark break reminiscent of Dany Elfman’s works, etc… For all these elements it was hard to structure, but it is basically this same structure that makes it tell a coherent story.
In a way, it is the Hollywood Burns’ origines. All the 50s sci-fi aspect of my music have been experienced on this particular track. And if it was the first time I used theremin, it is also the first time I sung on something. The voices of the chorus are a reference to the Daleks in Doctor Who, who always scream « Exterminate! ». Fun fact: I decided to keep a French accent on some vowels, just because it musically sounds better. If it’s alien, it doesn’t have to have a perfect accent anyway.
9. Revenge of the Black Saucers
It is a sequel to Black Saucers but not only. I chose this title to create an echo to the beginning of the album. This epic conclusion finishs in the same way it started – in fire and blood. But with a dramatic conclusion this time. If the first part is upbeat and brings hope, it’s only to create a contrast with the second part that leaves no doubt about the total domination of the evil Saucers.
The main melody of the chorus is very reminiscent of Jerry Goldsmith’s works.
The war is over, but there is still a light shining in the darkness. Survivors is about the humanity that remains in a destroyed world. For the lyrics I asked Florent Gerbault from Nord, who was already credited in my previous EP as the bass player on « Burn Hard ».
11. Closing Titles
Once again, an echo to the beginning of Invaders. But this time with an orchestral medley of few themes developed in other songs (Black Saucers, Scherzo no. 5 and Girls with Guns) in the pure tradition of the Star Wars end titles. Making alternative arrangements of all these melodies was just pure pleasure and I tried to pay tribute to all the orchestral scores I love.