elcome to the Digital Meltd0wn Music Blog. The aim of this blog is to introduce the readers to music that is out of print, commercially unavailable, released under a creative commons license, or with approval by the featured artist. The majority of the music posted here would be considered underground. Don't let that fool you into thinking that the music featured here might be any less enjoyable than that of the mainstream artists you hear on the radio, as this couldn't be further from the truth.
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The Company of Wolves stands apart from the werewolf-themed films that have previously been represented here. It is a unique surreal fantasy-horror film which brilliantly merges European fairy tales with that of Werewolf folklore, woven through the tail of "Little Red Riding Hood" and the stories of Angela Carter. The film serves as an allegory for a young girl's coming of age and the discovery of her blossoming sexuality. The werewolves are presented as a metaphor for the deceptive men who are eager to take away her innocence. The film primarily aims for artistic expression in the form of a dark and surreal psychological tale, rather than a straight forward horror film which seeks to frighten the viewer. There is a thick dark and gothic atmosphere which permeates the film though, as much of the story is told in the form of the young girl's nightmares, and the werewolves play an important role throughout the film.
The highlight of the film for me was the amazing soundtrack from George Fenton. The first time I heard the opening track, with it's ominous opening poem narrated by Angela Lansbury, I crossed my fingers in hopes that that the rest of the soundtrack would be equally impressive. Not only did it live up to my expectations, but it exceeded them by a great deal. Fenton brilliantly combines a small orchestra, traditional folk instruments, and foreboding synthesizer music to create a rich atmospheric soundtrack, which perfectly compliments the gothic fairy-tale atmosphere of the film. Fenton utilized a number of instruments to create his amazing score, including bass flutes, violins, fiddles, organs, pan pipes, double basses, synthesizers, and a variety of percussion instruments. The result is nothing short of magnificent.
Fenton's talent is undeniably displayed throughout this soundtrack, as. he takes on a number of different musical styles and moods, and absolutely kills it with each and every one. "The Message/Main Theme" opens up with a poem narrated by Angela Lansbury, complimented by Fenton's eerie synthesizer sounds in the background. "Rosaleen's First Dream" begins with a reserved minimalistic melody, which gradually becomes more sinister as the track progresses, before the quietness is eventually shattered by some truly powerful and menacing synthesizer sounds. "The Story of the Bride and Groom" consists of traditional Irish folk music, arranged by Alistair McLachlan. "The Wedding Party" is a romantic classical track based on Beethoven's String Trio Opus 9 No. 1. "The Boy and the Devil" has somewhat of an industrial sound to it, dominated by creepy synthesizer music and complimented by blasts of heavy breathing, which sounds as if it originates from some massive mechanical monstrosity.
This is an incredibly underrated soundtrack which deserves more attention, and I believe that it would appeal to a wide variety of people. As with a few of the other releases I have shared this month, there are several tracks which aren't exactly horrific in nature, however, those that are make this soundtrack worth including in our ongoing Nightmare Before Christmas theme. The download link provided below is to a rip of the original vinyl LP released on the That's Entertainment label in 1984. That's Entertainment re-released the soundtrack on CD in 1990, but it has long been out of print ever since.
Year of Release: 1984 Label: That's Entertainment Catalog #: TER 1094 Genre: Soundtrack, Horror, Contemporary Classical Bitrate: 320kbps
Track List: A1. The Message / Main Theme A2. Rosaleen's First Dream A3. The Story of the Bride and Groom A3 (a). The Village Wedding A3 (b). The Return of the Groom A4. The Forest and the Huntsman's Theme A5. The Wedding Party B1. The Boy and the Devil B2. One Sunday Afternoon... B3. All The Better To Eat You With B3 (a). The Promise and Transformation B3 (b). Arriving at Granny's Cottage B4. The Wolfgirl B5. Liberation