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Edgar Allan Poe - The Black Cat [Cadabra - 2018]

Once again returning to the well of Edgar Allan Poe's macabre waters, Cadabra will release The Black Cat on vinyl this August. Reenlisting Anthony D. P. Mann for vocal work, Cadabra gives him a wonderful partner in Italian composer Fabio Frizzi. coming in at just under one half hour, The Black Cat is a very engaging new reading of Poe's classic.

Much like The Tell-Tale Heart, The Black Cat deals with the mental torture and subsequent confession that comes from guilt. Replacing a beating heart with a black cat, Poe delves into the mind bending consequences of murder (both feline and human). This classic tale of the "arabesque" is vividly brought to life by Mann's spirited reading. Taking on the mantle of the unnamed narrator, the reading drips with terror and displays the hallucinatory tale with fervor. If this passionate vocal work wasn't enough, Fabio Frizzi's backing score matches the pitch and scope of Mann's reading as well as any track in Cadabra's discography. Subtle in points, and cinematic in others, Frizzi manages to evoke emotion while eschewing the cheesiness that often accompanies dramatic spoken word releases. This team makes the most of Poe's short story, and definitely raise the already high bar for Cadabra's realeases.

While Cadabra continually puts out quality releases, sometimes there are those that are surprising even to fans of the label. The combination of Poe's macabre tale, Anthony Mann's vivid reading, and Fabio Frizzi's evocative score is one of the best that Cadabra has released...and that's saying something. With Frizzi unable to score Fulci's The Black Cat, fans of his work with the Maestro would do themselves well by checking out his take with Cadabra.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Paul Casey
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