various artists,
Music from Castle Dracula
(Terrascape, 1996)

The concept is kind of hokey, but the execution of Music from Castle Dracula works surprisingly well.

An orchestral interpretation of Carpathian Gypsy music recorded on location in Dracula's old neighborhood evokes the mood. Subtle sound effects, such as the howling of dogs, wolves and wind, adds appropriate levels of tension. And the narration by Nick Hetherington of passages from Bram Stoker's novel makes sure you're certain we're dealing with one of the great horror classics of all time.

There's a lot of atmosphere packed into this disc. I wish I could say the same for the liner notes, which tell you little beyond Hetherington's name and the track titles. We don't even know if the musicians are authentic Gypsies caught in the act or if they're studio musicians flown to the Carpathians for an afternoon's recording. Perhaps the folks at Terrascape don't realize it, but little details like that matter.

That gripe aside, Music from Castle Dracula is a nice tribute to Stoker's masterpiece.

review by
Tom Knapp

11 May 2002

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