Reviewed by Nathan Ford
Previous releases from German band Sospetto have firmly established them as one of the very best Goblin-worshippers operating today. Indeed it's hard to believe that they're not Italian, and that their recordings haven't just been unearthed from some previously unknown treasure trove of reel to reel tapes in a dusty studio somewhere in Rome.
"Quattro Specchi Opachi" is a more ambitious affair then their normal undertakings however, and sets out to prove that there's much more to this band than incredibly accomplished neo-Giallo vibes - although that would be plenty. Originally conceived as four separate E.Ps, "Quattro Specchi Opachi" ( that's "Four Blind Mirrors") eventually became a double LP, with each side soundtracking an imaginary film. The first, "Intrappolati Nel Harem Di Satana" ("Trapped in the Harem of Satan") is a Giallo, and is as accomplished as you'd expect from Sospetto's track record up to this point, but the three other 'films' stretch the band into previously unexplored realms, which complement each other perfectly, while showcasing the versatility, compositional skills, and attention to detail that Sospetto are renowned for.
Behind door number two we have "L'exposition de Genevieve", an erotic French psycho drama. As you'd expect from that description, there's still the need for suspenseful cues here, and Sospetto deliver these with ease, but "L'exposition de Genevieve" also gives us the chance to view the more playful and sensuous side of Sospetto, with breathy wordless vocals and samba / bossa nova grooves working their way in amongst the sensuous strings and vibes. There's a definite Bruno Nicolai vibe to this set. Lovely.
Next is "Schwarzes Licht" ("The Black Light"), a German horror / sci-fi. Presented as one long suite, this is probably the most psychedelic suite of the set with atmospheric staccato guitar parts, and kosmische synths accompanied by a free jazz rhythm section. Another successful diversion.
And lastly we have "Devil's Cops in Angel County", an American cop thriller, which could so easily have resorted to brassy (but cliched) funk grooves. Impressively, there's very little of that, and when there is ("Law Viper"), it's exceptionally well executed, especially once the groovy flute and organ interplay kicks in.
A cover of Bruno Nicolai's peerless giallo classic "Sabba" (also recently revisited by Orgasmo Sonore, who makes a guest appearance here) rounds things off, reminding us of where Sospetto's roots lie, but also, by not standing head and shoulders above the band's own compositions, showcasing just how strong the band's own material is.
An essential purchase for lovers of psychedelic European soundtracks of the seventies.