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Soundtrack Review

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Blade (1998)
(2019 Vinyl Reissue)
Original Motion Picture Score


Composer: Mark Isham
Label: Varèse Sarabande
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Release Date: 04 October 2019

The original motion picture score for Blade by award winning composer Mark Isham has been released for the first time on vinyl. The LP’s jacket, inner sleeve and labels thematically reference the infamous warehouse rave scene of the vampire thriller from 1998...

Mark Isham's score for Blade is as strong and spine-tingling epic as it was on its original 1998 release. There are dark, brooding elements here that reminded me of Christopher Young's music on both Hellraiser (1987) and The Fly II (1989).

Talking about the music, Isham said: "The score needed to have an epic super-hero quality but with a very dark side, and it needed to be able to live next to the world of 1990’s electronica - The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Aphex Twin etc. We used a large symphony orchestra supplemented with electronic synthesizers and samplers for a unique musical vocabulary. I did a lot of sampling of weird and strange sounds as well as programming my synth collection. We recorded at the Fox stage which is a wonderful room. The process went smoothly as I had worked tirelessly with Steve Norrington, the director, during the demo process to get what we both wanted. We recorded some sections of the score in smaller segments - to be edited together later - as a lot of the visual effects hadn’t been completed yet. I think my two favourite musical moments are 'The Death Of Whistler' - which is very emotional scene, a bit unexpected in a film of this genre - and the culmination of the 'Ritual For Summoning La Magra'. This is big and bombastic and just plain FUN!"

If you already own this on CD or digitally, there's little point in repurchasing unless you're a collector of vinyl. It's a short (33 min, 38 sec) score, but it's packed to bursting with epic themes. Varèse Sarabande has, once again, done fans proud.


Darren Rea

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