Hailing from Chicagoland, IL (USA), Brian Sangmeister is a musician with a love for the cinematic, the enigmatic, and the macabre. His compositions, to paraphrase his own words, are appropriate for “clear nights, rainy days, staring at the ceiling, or gazing at the sky”. Actively composing solo material since 2018, Brian has released two full length albums, five standalone singles, and six EPs. His 2020 EP, Apprehension Dwells in the Mist, stood out to me as a perfectly peculiar compendium of short, simple, scary compositions that gave me the chills with an air of nostalgia for good measure.
There’s undisputedly a strong 70’s influence present in the composition of each work.I hear many of Claudio Gizzi’s influences throughout the release, particularly his work from Andy Warhol’s Flesh for Frankenstein. I also hear a hint of an influence from 70’s Prog masters Goblin, sans the Progressive Rock sensibilities and full-band trappings.
Opening number “The Shadows Linger” features some alluring yet eerie spoken word by Heather Melton of The Lurking Transmission podcast. Brought upon by a collage of synths and sparse piano hits that swirl around each other, this gothic ambient piece is a perfect piece to sum up the Horror and Halloween themes that comprise the entire release. The eerie title track takes the listener deeper down the dark path; it can be a long, endless hallway in a haunted house or a windy, narrow path through an abandoned cemetery. "Rise From Hell's Chasm" enters orchestral territory similar to Grieg's "Hall of the Mountain King" and John Carpenter's Halloween score - particularly, the chase scenes that occur near the end of the film.
As "Virulent Harbinger" enters the picture, we're back into a more ghastly landscape. Eerie high timbre synths buzz like a chainsaw over a spacy drone while being complimented with a few bells sprinkled throughout. "Your Last Dance With Death Awaits, My Dear" contains some lovely, gothic church organs, tasteful piano performance, and a hint of percussive toms that would fit well in any 70's vampire themed Horror movie, in my opinion. Last, but not least, we have the short and simple "Beyond the Flesh" which is available as a Bandcamp only track. Heather Melton makes a reprise by adding some eerie spoken words over a Psychedelic swirl of synths that build up into a cacophonous crescendo, suddenly cutting off and leaving the listener in wonder.
Apprehension Dwells in the Mist is a fine Horror themed release by Brian Sangmeister. I recommend checking it out if you're an enthusiast for gothic inspired, cinematic, keyboard centered music that doesn't go too far off the experimental deep end. Likewise, if you're a sucker for old school Horror in the days where CGI effects were non-existent, practical effects scared the bejeezus out of you, and the storylines of the films were more genuinely disturbing and frightening than most popular and predictable popular Horror films of the 2000's and present, then this album may be the perfect addition to your music library.
Stream and Purchase Brian Sangmeister - Apprehension Dwells in the Mist on Bandcamp Stream Brian Sangmeister - Apprehension Dwells in the Mist on Spotify Follow Brian Sangmeister on Twitter Follow The Lurking Transmission Podcast