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Soundtrack review: Army of darkness (Joseph LoDuca – 1993)

Army-Of-Darkness-Soundtrack

My introduction to the Evil dead franchise came with “Army of darkness”. I remember seeing the movie and being completely blown away by how funny it was. Bruce Campbell became one of my heroes and I looked for him in everything. In the 3rd Evil Dead movie. Ash (Bruce Campbell) finds himself trapped in medieval times. He must quest for the Necronomicon, a book of evil which can return him to his time. Unfortunately, he releases the evil trapped inside the book and unleashes an army of the dead. Brilliant. Joseph Lo Duca was back to score the movie and he had done a great job on the other two.

Hearing the “Prologue” fills me up with joy. This is balls to the walls epic and spectacular theme that can stand proud on any kind if medieval war movie. Or any kind of epic movie. Or trailer. Or anything really because it’s an awesome theme I can’t get enough of. And that’s just the start. From then on, as mighty and enjoyable is what’s going on on screen, the music is there to match it step by step. The orchestra and the chorus battle and shout and play and scare and amuse in a rollercoaster of adventure and emotions. A cue like “Little ashes” makes me chuckle every time.

“Army of darkness” is the kind of score that never gets old. It stays fresh and enjoyable no matter how many years pass. The appeal of the movie stays the same and so does that of the music. Joseph Lo Duca wrote a score so flamboyant and so intelligent that it sounds as if it was just released. The sound is modern and the only nostalgia I get when I listen to the music is related to the movie. The score makes me want to see the movie again.

Even if you are not a fan of the Evil Dead franchise or if you haven’t seen the movie, I think you should give this one a listen because you’ll find something to relate to. At least you’ll spend a fun 50 minutes with a spectacular storm of horns and you will also discover a fantasy horror theme by one of the industry’s best composers for the genre, Danny Elfman. He wrote “March of the dead” and this cue should be on every compilation or playlist.

For me “Army of darkness” is still one of the most fun and entertaining scores I’ve ever heard. From the delightful march “The deathcoaster” to the last preposterous undead motif this one is a must. Many have tried to replicate this one and with the exception of the occasional Silvestri or Elfman score, few have succeeded.

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 50 / 50

Album excellence: 100%

Highlights:

Prologue

Building The Deathcoaster

Give Me Some Sugar / Bone’anza

Time Traveller

Ash Splits

Little Ashes

Ash In Chains

Night Court

The Forest Of The Dead / Graveyard

The Pit

God Save Us

Foul Thing

March Of The Dead

Whites Of Their Skulls

The Deathcoaster

On The Parapet

Ash Bucklers

Skeletor

Soul Swallower

Manly Men

End Titles

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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