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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

George Fenton - Company of Wolves OST [Cold Spring Records - 2021]

The soundtrack to Neil Jordan’s classic fantasy horror, Company of Wolves by composer George Fenton makes its way back onto vinyl for the first time in 35 years from Cold Spring Records.  Jordan’s movie, based on the short story of the same name, taken from Angela Carter’s book of dark fairy tales, The Bloody Chamber, is a gothic masterpiece starring a host of legends of British cinema, Angela Landsbury, David Warner, Stephen Rae, Sarah Patterson, Brian Glover, Danielle Dax and Terence Stamp. 

Oscar-nominated for the score to Richard Attenborough’s 1982 masterpiece, Ghandi, Fenton was quite a coup to score the movie. He was a big-name composer, who would help Jordan by giving the film its sense of the fantastic, and the dreamlike quality that permeates the whole score. Fenton was keen to write a score that made use of both live instruments and electronics, the line-up of instruments used included bass flutes, pan pipes, violins, double bass, percussion and the fairly revolutionary at the time, Synclavier II, an early polyphonic synth that greatly enhanced the recordings.

The soundtrack itself is quite unique, mixing orchestral and folk sound with electronics to great effect. The opening track "The Message" and "Main Theme" is a suitably bombastic orchestral piece of music to get things underway. "Rosaleen’s First Dream", starts off as a much more ethereal sounding electronic piece before huge organ style riffs are introduced. "The Village Wedding" has a real traditional flavour to it with some lovely violin, whilst "The Return of the Groom" has a darker ambient electronic vibe to it. "The Forest and the Huntsman’s Theme" mixes the orchestral and electronic elements perfectly, to produce a slightly sinister yet dreamy piece. "The Wedding Party" starts life as a pretty orchestral piece, before shifting into something akin to carnival music. "The Boy and the Devil" is a fairly quiet piece, largely orchestral in nature but shot through with a hint of electronic menace. There is a melancholy that permeates most of what follows, this is particularly the case on "One Sunday Afternoon" and "The Wolfgirl" , whilst album closer, "Liberation", is far more epic in nature. 

Overall, the soundtrack remains one of the finest examples of a horror/fantasy score that mixes both orchestral and electronic elements to great effect. The new 180g vinyl from Cold Spring sounds great and comes beautifully packaged in a sleeve designed by regular Cold Spring artist/graphic designer Abby Helasdottir. More than anything, it is very pleasing to be able to own this soundtrack again on vinyl after so many years. A big thanks to all at Cold Spring for putting the effort in, to bring this wonderful album back to life. To buy direct drop by here

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

Darren Charles
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