Film scores

Soundtrack review: Ash vs the evil dead (Joseph LoDuca – 2015)

When I saw the trailer of “Ash vs the evil dead” I almost passed out. It’s useless to say that seeing Bruce Campbell back in that role and seeing the preposterous bloody scenes made this my favorite trailer of all time. As soon as the first season of the show will be over I will binge watch it with delight. They seem to have kept the original spirit and the mix of horror and humor even 35 years later. You don’t need a plot description for this one. Scratch that. You don’t need a plot. All you need is Bruce Campbell, his chainsaw and Joseph Lo Duca’s music, if the previous scores are any indication.

Hello, nasty goodness! The main title rests my mind at ease (which is weird considering its relentless and creepy and aggressive) and I actually need to replay it before going further just to get a better bite. Yeah the music stabs repeatedly and the runs and then comes back and stabs again but this is what we came for, right? I love the familiarity of the sound. This is one of those cases when I don’t look for fresh new themes; no, I just want more of the good stuff and this is exactly what the master of horror fantasy gives us here. Just listen to the final section of “Ain’t for Shabbas” which, with the help of strings and horns, shreds and shreds until there’s nothing left.

Tense horror takes over next and the adventure in the music takes a break. I like the little surprises like the bell chimes or the short choral inserts. They make the music feel alive and more effective. I’m not just listening to a score; I feel as if I’m participating in what’s going on. Nothing I touch is what it seems and nothing that comes towards me is harmless. I am truly scared even in a well-lit and crowded environment when I hear “A foul wind bloweth / Mom returns”.

“Dear Amanda / shut up Linda” is as two faces as the title suggests: a sweet and almost romantic piano motif morphs into an alert string ostinato that gives once again the sensation of stabbing. A raunchy rock insert like “The handyman can’t” could be Ash’s theme any day. It’s as cool as he is. Bet you didn’t think you could find a melancholic western like flute theme in here. And yet “Adios, Tio Brujo” makes me think of Morricone. Then there’s are the awesome and spectacular action pieces that are to kill for. If you aren’t convinced about this score just listen to “Amanda returns”.

I can’t wait to see the show and enjoy this entertaining score in context as well. Sounded great as a standalone listen and Joseph Lo Duca is in a great musical shape.

Cue rating: 90 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 27 / 4

Album excellence: 50%

Highlights:

A Foul Wind Bloweth -Mom Returns

Deer Amanda – Shut Up Linda

The Handyman Can’t

Adios Tio Brujo

Let’s Start Over – Pablos Process

No Accident

Evil Catches Up

Amanda Returns

Ashs Theme

 

 

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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