REVIEW: CANNIBAL FEROX OST (1981) / MUSIC: ROBERTO DONATI / PUBLISHER: ONE WAY STATIC / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
It's astonishing how full this release of the Cannibal Ferox score sounds. If the B-side to Stella Edisone Musicale's Mangiati Vivi! was a teaser, this release from Belgium's One Way Static is the main course and dessert all in one. I've had a version of the Blackest Heart Media release on CD for a while, so with three copies to compare, it's quite easy to categorically state this is the definitive version.
Previous releases have slightly obscured or slurred the various aspects of the soundtrack together. On pieces like “Piranhas,” wherein there is a low instrumental accentuated with high, sporadic interludes, everything had previously been mastered equally, with the volume levels not allowing for any sense of sonic disparity. The new release lets the accents and flourishes pop and sizzle, bring the music of Cannibal Ferox to vibrant, violent life.
The way title theme comes out of the speakers is lush and rich, and the synthesizers positively pulse with life. The non-synth tracks – the “NYC Main Title” or “Jaywalkin' Iguana” – sound a little more cheesy for their improved fidelity, but that's because they started out that way, more than anything else.
Additionally, in an occasion rare enough to warrant mentioning, the bonus tracks are actually entertaining and of good quality, especially album-closer “Evil Rising,” which is like the main theme reduced to its most uncomfortable and evil, streaked through with frightening guitar riffs.
The vinyl comes in two versions: one in standard, movie-poster cover, which is quite striking and contains a black LP, while the other has a “banned” cover that features the movie's brain-eating scene on the front, the disembowelling on the back, and a gatefold of various impalements and dismembering. It's numbered, with 500 copies each on clear/transparent green split or camouflage vinyl.
Both versions are amazing to look at, and might be the best packaging One Way Static's put together thus far. The liner notes, as always on the label's releases, contain a mixture of behind-the-scenes anecdotes, commentary about the score, and at least one comment about the difficulty of filming.