RE-ANIMATOR‘s Richard Band really got put on the horror map with his big thing for decapitated noggins, which tells you all you need to know about how he ended up in the company of SHIVER‘s headhunting serial killer. Gone is any of that aforementioned film’s Herrmann-esque comedy for this straight-up thriller, to which Band contributes a grimly exciting score. Where budgetary necessity has resulted in many such low-budget horror movies employing a sampled orchestra, Band has certainly turned that sound into a charm that signifies he’s in the eerie house. Twisted bell percussion blends with efficiently emulated strings to give the murderer a sense of childish glee, while shaker percussion and weirdly distorted brass bring SHIVER a tone that will certainly delight fans of the composer’s PUPPETMASTER scores.
But perhaps the coolest thing about the musician’s nastily effective work is how well he’s jumped onto the rhythmic cop procedural suspense bandwagon as cops desperately hunt for a kidnapped victim, creating a pulsing, nerve-tensing sound that proves Band is equally adept with contemporary, all-too human monsters, smartly blending dissonance with empathy as he contrasts seemingly unstoppable, love-struck evil with empathy for victims who fight back. And on top of it, who’d have expected to hear cool 40s jazz tunes and a Bossa Nova love song on a Richard Band soundtrack? SHIVER‘s performances by Laura Weinbach and Cheryl Conley only add to the album’s unexpected, twisted pleasures.
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