Anthony D. P. Mann have worked with US vinyl label Cadabra Records on a number of their spoken words with musical score productions, all revolving around tales of horror. To celebrate Halloween in 2017 this label released a number of productions. The vinyl EP “The Hearse Song” is one of these, here combining the voice talents of Mann with veteran project Slasher Film Festival Strategy, a venture specializing in creating music inspired by science fiction and horror movies.

I understand that the four creations covered on this EP are all rather well known in the English speaking world. And apart from the rather short ‘Skin and Bones’, the renditions given here makes me understand why they are popular too. Slasher Film Festival Strategy creates suitable and fitting scores with ease, elevating and giving added emphasis to the dramatic moments in each of these stories and recitals, and Mann has a vocal presence and performance that also suits the material here to perfection, perhaps apart from the aforementioned minute long ‘Skin and Bones’, although the words probably are more important than the performance as far as enjoying this one goes.

‘The Hearse Song’ is the main title of this release, and it is easy to understand why. Poetic, macabre and filled with dark, gruesome and yet also weirdly uplifting descriptions about the breakdown of a corpse and the natural cycle that takes place after death, it is a joy-filled journey into a macabre world of the kind sensible souls probably should not visit while eating. ‘The Velvet Ribbon’ and ‘The Teeth’ are also entertaining, each in their own way, although I dare say that the score given the latter probably makes this one the most remarkable of these two overall.

If you can track down this sweet, little EP it is a creation well worth giving a spin. Mann is on top form, and Slasher Film Festival Strategy makes some brilliant scores to support the spoken words alongside the moods and atmospheres conjured by them. A worthwhile experience, even if you know all these stories by heart.

My rating: 80/100

Track list:
1. The Hearse Song
2. The Velvet Ribbon
3. Skin & Bones
4. The Teeth


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