The Chronicles - 3 disc set

Composer: Christopher Young & Randy Miller
Silva Screen
RRP £19.99
Available now

While Clive Barker's macabre imagination created the striking and enduring imagery that was present in the Hellraiser films it was the musical talents of Christopher Young that set the mood. The movies were based around the story of an evil Pandora's Box and the unearthly Cenobites lead by the memorable icon Pinhead...

Hellraiser the Chronicles sees the soundtracks for Hellraiser I, II and III available in one collection for the first time. The music for the first movie is haunting, if a little repetitive and Christopher Young's main theme for the movie is extremely memorable.

Moving on to Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Young shifts his style somewhat. A lesser composer would have felt more secure resting on the crutches of the theme from the first movie. But Young throws that away and writes much more complex music. Here there is less repetition and more innovative use of the orchestra. Some of the tracks are downright bizarre. For example, a number of tracks use fairground music to add a surreal quality.

The third CD in this collection was composed by Randy (no sniggering at the back) Miller. I was expecting this to be a turkey but thankfully it is nowhere near as bad as I thought it was going to be. Miller, whose music I had previously been ignorant of, pulls off an acceptable score here. Having said that I was a little unimpressed with the fact that Miller steals chunks of Young's score. Surely if Young could move from movie to movie without copying himself then Miller could have followed the same example. However, once you start to listen to Miller's original work you realise that he is an exceptional composer.

To be honest, while the movies were ok, the soundtracks were always too good for the films and this collection proves that even more. Silva Screen have done a lovely job of the packaging, including a rather attractive full colour booklet.

The packaging claims that this is a limited edition collection with only 3000 copies so Hellraiser fans may want to pick up a copy before it is too late - and anyone interested in orchestrated soundtracks should think about parting with their cash also.

Nick Smithson


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