Soundtrack Review: The Canal (2014)

canal-cdThe Canal
Released in 2014 by Lakeshore Records
23 Tracks with a total running time of 50 minutes
Original Score by Ceiri Torjussen

It is funny how one’s opinions can change over the years. I’ve been going through some of my reviews from the old Krypt and bringing them to the new format. During this process, I realize I don’t have a review posted for the soundtrack for this movie, which I recently posted in my list of films that people need to see. As I was going to bring it over, I re-read it and was amazed to find out that I apparently didn’t care for it that much. The strange this is that this is one score that I’ve been listening to quite a bit lately when I’m working on some writing. Because it is more “background sounds” than actual music, it just didn’t resonate with me too well. Well, here is an updated review with some different thoughts on it. Continue reading

Dial M for Murder Soundtrack!

Dial M for MurderFans of classic Hitchcock and soundtracks will be thrilled to hear that the score for his 1954 thriller, that has been painstakingly re-recorded under the direction of William Stromberg, recorded in Glasgow’s new state-of-the-art recording venue. They wanted to make sure that with this new recording, they were able to make it feel like Dimitri Tiomkin’s original.

This release also includes both used and unused “intermission cards” for the 3-D presentations, an alternate main title, as well as unused arrangements. With 15 tracks and a total running time of 65 minutes, I think this a must for any Hitchcock fans, as well as composer Tiomkin. You can get it directly from Intrada (click HERE) or from Screen Archives Entertainment (click HERE). 

Soundtrack Review: The Lighthouse

Lighthouse CDThe Lighthouse
Released by Milan Records
13 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 36 min.
Music by Mark Korven

This film is the tale of two lighthouse keepers trying to retain their sanity while isolated on an island off the coast. I have not seen this film as of this writing, so I’m reviewing this soundtrack strictly on the score alone. Since I do know the premise of the movie, it does give me some pre-conceived notions about the score. Right from the opening note, we have a loud reverberating sound, then coupled with another one, and then another, but it immediately creates a strange sense of danger. Other tracks, like 3 & 4 that sound like they could have been created by an accordion that has been slowed down, distorted, or altered in some sort of way, giving it a feel of some kind of sound from a sailor out on the sea. I could be wrong, but that is the feeling I got.

This is another score that is mainly ambient sounds rather than an actual musical score. But like The Void, this one feels the listener’s ears with atmosphere. With slow moving sounds, low and vibrating, sometimes picking up the pace that builds the tension, it really creates different moods while listening to it. There are some tracks that sound like there are muffled voices or moans coming out of the speaker, that again, just adds nicely to the mood it sets, almost like something you’d hear coming out of a dream.

Mark Korven scored Eggers first film, The Witch (2015), and is back again for another round. Korven also did the score for Vincenzo Natali’s Cube (1997) and the more recent In the Tall Grass (2019).

Soundtrack Review: The Wind

The WindThe Wind (2018)
Released by Lakeshore Records
32 Tracks with a Total Running time of 64 min.
Music by Ben Lovett

Within the first note, it feels like composer Lovett went old school for this score. Since the film takes place in the old west, the first sound we hear is strings, from a violin or cello (I’m a music fan, but not an expert!), that sets the mood. In the film, we get a sense of wide open plains with nothing out there for as long as you can see, and Lovett brings that feeling through with this music.

I was surprised at some of the more faster tempos on some of the tracks, like #2 Demons of the Prairie, but he still using the strings, along with some percussions to keep that tension raised. Then when you get to tracks like # 6, We Shall Be Monsters, we get more of a quiet sound, with some wind instruments in there, as well as strings, creating a creepy mood, as if something is out there in the dark.

We first came across Lovett’s work in the 2007 low budget film The Signal and then more recently with The Ritual (2017). This score isn’t going to win you over by melodies or themes, but for an atmospheric piece that usually stays on the somber side, pounding up the tempo occasionally, it works well on its own. And even more so in the film itself, which I had seen before reviewing this score.

Soundtrack Review: The Void

The Void soundtrackThe Void (2016)
Released by Lakeshore Records
32 Tracks with a Total Running time of 64 min.
Music by Blitz//Berlin, Joseph Murray, Menalon Music, & Lodewijk Vos

If you’re looking for a score that is more ambient sounds than an actual musical score, one that just might bring the Old Ones, or any forgotten deity back from the netherworld, this just might be the one. You’ll get no melodies, no quiet and soft piano keys here, but instead a vibration of sound coming through your speakers. In fact, there are times it almost seems like something is trying to escape from your speakers! It does an excellent job creating this mood with its buzzing, pounding, and other strange noises. A stellar job.

For example, track # 21 Sacrifices has a humming in the foreground while we hear some sort of distant chanting going on that creates an incredible amount atmosphere. I think this is where the beauty of this score lies, in its otherworldliness, with strange sounds and noises. When played loud enough… who knows what might happen!

I’m sorry it took me this long to track down this score. It was one of my favorite moves a couple of years ago and this score is one of the reasons why.

Music for the Holiday!

Silent Night Deadly NightWith all the crap going on in the world, whoever would have thought that there would be a special 2-disc edition soundtrack for the 1984 holiday horror film Silent Night, Deadly Night! What a world, right? Thanks to the fine folks at Howlin’ Wolf Records, this 2-disc special edition does exist. 

I don’t have a release date, but you can pre-order your copy now, which, if you’re a fan of this movie, I would do just that because this release is only 300 CDs! You can pre-order it HERE.

The first disc has the complete score by Grammy-winning composer Perry Boktin, which is over an hour long! The second disc in a little over 30 minutes and contains all the songs written for the film by songwriter and singer Morgan Ames. It also contains a 20-page booklet with liner notes by co-executive producers Scott Schneid & Dennis Whitehead, screenwriter Michael Hickey, and composer Botkin.

Howlin’ Wolf Records went through a lot of time and effort to bring this release to the fans and from the looks of it, it looks to be well worth it. Priced at $19.95, don’t wait too long or you will think that Santa skipped your house this year!

Sounds of the Season!

I swear, if it’s not all the new books coming out that is trying to get my money, it is the soundtracks! Between the scores I already ordered for titles like The Last Shark, The Witch and The Lighthouse (even before I’ve seen it?!?!?), I came across these two that I had no choice but to order! I mean, how can a lover of Italian horror and classic Universal monsters not have these two in your collection?

The first one is for Michele Soavi’s film La Setta (1991), also known as The Sect, or The Devil’s Daughter, depending on which release you got a hold of. With the score by Pino Donaggio, part of this was released on an earlier version by Cinevox, this release now contains 9 more tracks that have never been released before. It also focuses on Donaggio part of the score, where he even plays violin on it. This release is also limited to 500 copies, so if you’re a fan of this movie and/or the composer, I wouldn’t wait too long. The price is $19.95 and is available through Screen Archives Entertainment. Continue reading