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House of Frankenstein (Soundtrack) by Don Davis

Tracksounds Rating = 7/10

Composed by Don Davis
Conducted and Orchestrated by Don Davis
Promo Release October 1999

Track Title Time Rating Frankenstein's Choir
by Christopher Coleman

This promo release of a surprisingly good score by Don Davis’  contains some moments of sheer inspiration through use of vocals and likewise moments of uneasy and dark suspense.  While this score pre-dates The Matrix by a couple of years, it does share some stylistic elements with the hit score.   It is the choir that really sets this score a part. Many of the suspense cues sound as though they came right out of The Matrix and shows that Davis’ talent for the sinister side of film music has been around for a number of  years.  After the disappointing release of Universal Soldier 2 in October of 1999, this score certainly cheers one back up, albeit in a frightening sort of way. Some of the more intense or foreboding moments take on a bit of the same feeling as Williams’ Close Encounters of the Third Kind…mostly do to the low rumbling voices that seem to lurk menacingly in the background.  There is little denying the skill of Davis demonstrated here, but this isn’t the sort of score you’d pop in to relax you.  If fear and aggression are what you’re hankering for then this music just might do the trick... or treat. 

The stirring strings, at times, the brass accents, at other,s the swelling brass, and finally, the pounding piano are all elements that help make The Matrix one of the most intriguing scores of 1999.  These same characteristics are found in House of Frankenstein.  The conclusion of track 12 contains an eerie bit of effect that was also used at the onset of The Matrix.  Tracks like She’s Not Hungary for Food (track 6), Club Spook (club 7), and Cruising with Grimes (track14), could certainly be used as temp tracks for the upcoming Matrix sequels (prequels?).

The haunting choir makes its presence felt in the majority of tracks.  Some of the best being:  Track 2, Frank-N-Danish, Frank Restrained (track 8) Coyle and Cha Cha Break In (track 12) with the solemn force of a Patrick Doyle piece.  The final track, The Vampire Lawyer – Finale is also one of the best and introduces the only positive, heroic moments on the CD.  In Paradisum (track 5) is simply beautiful…except for the loud vocal interjections that occur a number of times.  The choir is predominantly female for the first few moments, but is later complimented as the men bring in the low end.  The music of this track evokes heavenly images-  an interesting bit of irony.  Unfortunately, the vocal blasts really disrupt an otherwise stellar piece of music.

There are only a few moments that let one exhale on this disc.  One of the softer moments of this score appears in the painfully brief track, Vile and Contemptible.  Yet another I Busted Lip Lock (track 4) starts off quite mellow as well, but it doesn’t lose the dark sinister components completely.  Track 13, Armando Takes a Hit is a very sad selection as the cello plays a mournful melody, but, once again, this track morphs into the matrix-like suspense variety.  At the conclusion of track 17, A Stake for Woody, we hear some very ethereal stuff. Nice.

Davis seems to be garnering more and more attention these days…and deservedly so.  His talents have been hidden in obscurity somewhat, but with the success of The Matrix his previous works are having the spotlight placed on them.  House of Frankenstein is further hard evidence that Don Davis is no one-hit wonder in the film music world.  This being a promo release might make it a little difficult but this is a must have for fans of Davis and especially his score for The Matrix.

1 Main Title 3:28 ***
2 Frank-N-Danish 1:55 ***
3 Vienna Hot Dog 3:49 ***
4 Busted Lip Lock 1:20 ****
5 In Paradisum 2:58 ****
6 She's Not Hungry for Food 3:18 ***
7 Club Spook 3:33 ***
8 Frank Restrained 2:14 ***
9 Monster Bus 0:58 ***
10 Breakout 3:27 ***
11 Vile and Contemptible 0:57 ****
12 Coyle and Cha Cha Break In 2:47 ***
13 Armando Takes a Hit 2:09 ***
14 Cruising with Grimes 1:31 ***
15 Let's Shoot Grace 3:18 ***
16 Delbo Delirious 1:02 ***
17 Stake for Woody 1:38 ****
18 Dog Speed 5:33 ***
19 Franko-Fire 3:42 ****
20 Trouble in Transylvania 2:32 ***
21 Beauty Kills the Beast 6:33 ***
22 The Vampire Lawyer - Finale 1:44 ****
  Total Playing Time 60:48    

Category

Score

 

Themes

7  

Originality

7  

CD Length

8  

Track Order and Selection

7  

Performance

8  

Final Score 

7  
         

Other reviews:

"Balancing the obvious horror aspects of this score are several moments of enchantment, which is something I have not heard from Davis with a large ensemble since Warriors of Virtue. With more emphasis on the orchestra and choir, and less on the rhythms and sound effect qualities of the synthesizers, the music for this score will likely satisfy those who enjoyed The Matrix, but were aggravated by their perception of an excess of electronics in that work. For House of Frankenstein, Davis balances them very well, providing moments in the lengthy score that will appeal to both the orchestral/choral and electronic music fans."  ***

Christian Clemmensen - Filmtracks


Composer 
Don Davis

House of Frankenstein (Soundtrack) by Don Davis
Track 5 - In Paradisum

Purchase this CD at

www.supercollector.com

www.screenarchives.com

All artwork from House of Frankenstein is exclusive property of  (c) 1999.  Its appearance is for imformational purposes only.

 

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