Interview by Paul Salfen
The Invincible Czars is an Austin-based experimental rock and metal group, best known for developing and performing original scores for classic horror films like Nosferatu, which is celebrating its centennial this year. This Halloween season, to mark the anniversary, the group is bringing a revamped score to the classic film to 49 art house cinemas across the US, creating a chilling, immersive experience that breathes new life into vampire cinema’s oldest and starkest nightmare.
Invincible Czars began accompanying silent films at the original Alamo Drafthouse in Austin in 2006, drawing on a wide scope of styles, cinematic flair, and a complicated relationship with heavy metal. Marrying the old-world charm of silent film with a contemporary electricity and influences ranging from Tchaikovsky to Danny Elfman, the varied compositions adapt individually to every film the group scores, capturing each thrilling moment and keeping audiences engaged scene by scene.
In preparation for the centennial of Nosferatu, the group ventured back into the depths of Romanian folk music and horror soundscapes to give their score a facelift. From pianissimo passages of longing to menacing motifs of dissonant horror, the updated score is performed by a five member ensemble, with each instrument playing a critical role establishing character themes and maximizing the visceral nature of this film. Cinemas and film festivals consistently call The Invincible Czars the best in the nation for silent film accompaniment, and the band hopes their show will increase awareness about independent cinemas and adventurous movie theaters that are becoming increasingly rare in the post-Covid era.