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Soundtrack Review

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The Omen
(Red/Black Splatter Vinyl)
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Jerry Goldsmith
Conductor: Lionel Newman
Label: Varèse Sarabande
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Release Date: 30 September 2022

Varèse Sarabande releases the LP re-issue of the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to The Omen, by Jerry Goldsmith. The ground-breaking 1976 movie, directed by Richard Donner, follows the birth and rise of the antichrist, Damien. It has many well-constructed and shocking set-pieces, and a suitably fitting soundtrack which won Goldsmith an Oscar for Best Original Score. He was also nominated for Best Original Song, for 'Ave Satani' – an inversion of the Latin Mass into a chilling Black Mass to the Devil...

Track List:

'Ave Satani'; 'The New Ambassador'; 'The Killer Storm'; 'A Sad Message'; 'The Demise of Mrs Baylock'; 'Don’t Let Him'; 'The Piper Dreams'; 'The Fall'; 'Safari Park'; 'The Dogs Attack'; 'The Homecoming'; and 'The Altar'.

'Ave Satani' has lost none of its effect over the years, proving to be very unsettling with its mainly strings and piano tribal orchestral piece with satanic chants. The original version of The Omen from the 1970s remains an outstanding film made up essentially of shocking set pieces. After the sweet and plaintive music of 'The New Ambassador', we immediately move into darker territory with the building tension of what is to come. There is an off-kilter stance which lends everything a removed reality, as if this can’t possibly be real. Jerry Goldsmith doesn’t relent with the oppressive satanic aspect. 'A Sad Message' leads us into a false sense of security for the killings beginning with 'The Demise of Mrs Baylock'. The whispering among the chanting, shrieking and dark, almost operatic music offers this one a conspiratorial feel.

We barely have the opportunity to recover with the Bond-like song 'The Piper Dreams' before 'The Fall' throws us straight back into the dramatic maelstrom of dark rites. Anyone who has seen this excellent movie will know 'Safari Park' turns innocence and the wonder of nature into a frightening scene of unexpected danger. The music sticks closely with the film in ramping-up the unease and stark terror, and is all the better for it. 'The Altar', which relates to the ultimate scene, is one of tight unease and of time running out. Oppressing bass sounds accompany new chants and rasping music. It’s a more than fitting close to what proved to be an open-ended film. This score is virtually faultless in its attention to the darker emotions. Any composer writing for satanic/demonic content could do worse than to refer to this as the template reference guide.


Ty Power

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