Soundtrack Review: Absurd

Rosso Sangue CDAbsurd aka Rosso Sangue (1981)
Released by Severin Films, 2018
Music by Carlo Maria Cordio
23 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 69 min.

The movie this score is from has been called more than a few names in its history, from Monster Hunte, Anthropophagus II, to Horrible, to the title it has been recently released here in the states under, simply Absurd. The original title of the film is Rosso Sangue and was directed by the one and only Joe D’Amato, with George Eastman in the lead role, as well as writing the film. Plenty of gore and a nonsensical plot, it is a fun ride for those fans of European cult cinema. But this soundtrack, by Carlo Maria Cordio is way better than it has any right to be, especially when it is for a film like Absurd! If fact, if you are a fan of Goblin then you will pretty much enjoy this score since Cordio follows the same musical path. Call it ripping off, homage, paying tribute, or whatever you want to, but it is still a great score. Continue reading

The Sentinel Soundtrack Released

Sentinel CDNever before available (officially, that is) in any format, Gil Mellé’s score for the 1977 Michael Winner film The Sentinel is finally getting a release, all thanks to La-La Land Records and Universal Studios, in their latest title in their Universal Pictures Film Music Heritage Collection. This release will have the complete score, which is 56:27 minutes, with an additional 16:33 minutes of bonus and musical effects cues. Jeff Bond and James Phillips wrote the exclusive and in-depth liner notes.

Limited to only 3000 units, you may want to order yours now to make sure you get a copy. I know I just did. And while you’re at La-La Land Records site (by clicking HERE), check out their other discs, because I found quite a few great titles at some really good prices!

Bram Stoker’s Dracula 3-CD Special Edition

Bram Stoker's Dracula Lucy

This really must be the year for special edition soundtracks for Dracula films. Recently Varèse Sarabande had released a 2-CD special edition set of John Williams’ score for the 1979 version of Dracula, which we promptly pre-ordered the minute we heard that news since that has always been a favorite score of mine. And now, thanks to the fine folks at La-La Land Records, they will be releasing a 3-CD set for Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), giving us fans almost 3 1/2 hours of this incredible music from Wojciech Kilar.

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Soundtrack Review: What Still Remains

What Still Remains SoundtrackWhat Still Remains
Released by Lakeshore Records, 2018
21 Tracks, with a Total Running Time of 41 min.
Music by Jonathan Beard

There are some scores that are in your face, with a pounding emitting from the speakers, almost like an audio assault. But personally, the ones that are more quiet and subdued, slowly creeping into your head instead of bursting in, are the ones that I’m more drawn to. It seems that is what composer Beard was going for with this score. There are a lot of strings used here, and a bit of piano, that create a perfect blend of music and sounds that while are more on the quiet side, they still can move you. Some tracks come across more like metal scraping in the distance, or some sort of wind chime from hell. But all works in creating this great ambiance. Continue reading

Soundtrack Review: More Music from the Further

More Music from the FurtherMore Music from the Further
Released by Void Recordings, 2018.
27 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 50:41 min.
Music By Joseph Bishara

What we have here are unreleased and/or developmental pieces from the first three Insidious pictures, that are on “display” here for audiences to hear. It is interesting to hear parts of scores, as opposed to hearing it as a whole. But it still works.

I’ve always found that there are two different types of scores. Sometimes they are intermixed or sometimes they keep themselves separate. One of them is more of an orchestrated score, filled with melodies and themes, that grab hold with an emotional hook to the listener. Then there are those that are more…sounds. Some might call them noise but I think that takes away any decision on how it should sound or that it isn’t planned. It could be a low rumbling or buzzing sound. It could just the sound of a bow being slowly rubbed across the strings on a cello. No melody, not theme, just a sound to hook into an emotion as well, but using a different approach. Some might have a preference, but it doesn’t mean that either way is more effective than the other.

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Soundtrack Review: Puppet Master – The Littlest Reich

puppet master the littlest reichPuppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Released by Lakeshore Records, 2018

13 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 31 min.
Music by Fabio Frizzi

I must admit, seeing the offer to review the soundtrack for the latest Puppet Master movie didn’t fill me with excitement. But when I saw the composer was none other than Fabio Frizzi, the Italian maestro who composed the scores for films like Fulci’s The Psychic (1977), Zombie (1979), City of the Living Dead (1980), The Beyond (1981), not to mention a few other classics, I quickly changed my mind. And I’m glad I did because he once showed me that you can never judge a book by its cover. Or a score by its title., as the case may be.

The score for Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is a smaller and simple score, much like I expected, but Frizzi is still able to create a great mood here. The opening title track is a beautiful piece of music, simple and elegant, and not what you’d think you’d hear for a Puppet Master film. But right when the second track picks up, Third Floor Hallway, the atmosphere kicks in. We have a slow and low sound of the keyboard, with a low pounding in the background. Then a violin (maybe?) kicks in bringing up the eerie factor slightly higher.  About halfway through this track, we hear some bells, like from a wind chime or doll’s toy, which at first might sound innocent, but the way it is used along with the already existing sounds, it just makes it plain creepy.

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Soundtrack Review: Malenka / The Feast of Satan

malenka

Malenka / The Feast of Satan
Released by Quartet Records
30 Tracks with a total running time of 65:39 min.
Music composed by Carlo Savina

Savina’s score for Amando de Ossorio’s 1969 film Malenka (aka Fangs of the Living Dead) is a real treat and a great way to step back in time to one of those gothic vampire pictures that we grew up with on late night television. Using primarily an organ for this score, it creates a multi-layered effects that just seeps with atmosphere. He creates this ghostly or almost other-worldly feeling, if that makes any sense, developing different sounds and melodies to enhance the gothic feel of the movie. Even as a standalone piece of music, you can’t help but be transported back to the 40 years ago, to an old run down castle, with the fog slowly covering the grounds, where you are told not to venture out at night.

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