SEVENTH MOON soundtrack review!
by Randal D. Larson
The spooky score for one of the GhostHouse series of low-budget horror films from 2008, SEVENTH MOON, has been issued on CD by ERM Media. The film, directed by Eduardo Sánchez, is a scary picture about an American couple (Amy Smart and Tim Chiou) vacationing in China who are caught up in the “festivities” of the full moon of the seventh lunar month, when the gates of hell are supposed to open and the dead freed to roam among the living – and guess what happens?
The score was composed by Antonio Cora, who’s scored two of Sánchez’s prior films, 2006’s ALTERED, and 1999’s THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (Cora’s unsettling end title music was that film’s only music), and Kent Sparkling, a noted sound designer and re-recording mixer for films since the mid-1990s who’s scored some half dozen films since 2004. The score, like that of Cora’s BLAIR WITCH end titles, is a nightmarish sound-design styled score that uses musical sound – mostly in the manner of sustained synthesized tones, impenetrably dark voicings, piercing musical reflections, and thickly textured accoutrements of sonic ambiance – to build a palpable tension and pervasively unsettling atmosphere. There are no melodies and many of the sounds are from unrecognizable sources, which instantly provokes an uneasy feeling in the listener. A recurring ambient pattern consists of stretched out filaments of tonality that hover in the sonic atmosphere like hanging mist or the contrails of malevolent spirits, heard in the traveling tendrils of synths in tracks like “Some Believe,” “All Around Us” and “Tied Up Outside” and in the eerie, ghostly vocal patterns developed in “Empty Village” and “No Coverage/Moon Dreams.” From the slowly rising (in pitch, volume, velocity, and force) mélange of sounds in “Converge” (eerie fiddle, playing perpendicular figures across the strands of rough-edged, whispered synth pads, and increasingly active percussion rattlings) to the drum-driven urgency that emanates from the ambiance at the end of “Go” that lead in to the seemingly relaxed respite of the more familiar organ-sounding keyboards of “Dawn,” this is a first rate terror score that lays down an instantaneous discomfort in the listener and keeps them on edge throughout the entirety of the score. It’s not the most relaxing music to have on, removed from its companion visual storytelling elements, but it’s an impressive listen just to explore the range of sound patterns that flow through the speakers to evoke such dark moods.
Read Randall's FULL ARTICLE here.