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FB1964 - 2013 - "The Fearless Vampire Killers"

(52:10, ‘Guma’)


1.  Main Theme 3:03
2.  Sarah's Bath/Snowman 2:17
3.  Koukol 1:29
4.  Krolock 3:22
5.  Into the Cellar 2:03
6. Skiing/The Castle 5:26
7.  Portraits 3:36
8.  Vampire Corners 4:13
9.  Rooftopwalking 2:07
10. Alfred Hears Singing 5:37
11. Sarah's Song 2:01
12. Hunting Alfred 3:21
13. Menuet 7:06
14. Persecution 3:21
15. End Theme 3:08


Frank Badenhop – guitars; spinet
Halion Chamber Orchestra (violins, oboe, etc)
The London Chorale – vocals 
Andreas Kowalzik – guitars 
Don Wayne Reno – banjo 
Hendrik Schelenz – bass 
Tim Scubert – drums 
Karin Badenhop – vocals; flute
Uschi Hertsberg – vocals 
Daria Kaschkow – vocals 
25 other musicians

Prolusion. The German project FB1964 was instigated by guitarist Frank Badenhop. The main idea has been to craft a remake, or perhaps one might call it a reinvention, of the soundtrack for the cult movie "The Fearless Vampire Killers" from 1967. The finished result was released through the presumably private label Guma Records in 2013.

Analysis. I'll have to admit that I'm not overly familiar with the movie or the soundtrack that spawned this project. Some rather famous people were involved in the movie however, so I guess there are quite a few folks around more familiar with the source material than I am. On the subject of famous people, those with a keen eye will spot quite a few of those on the credits list of this production, names as impressive as the list of contributing musicians is long. What they have been a part of is an album that first and foremost resides within the heavy metal universe. Dark, massive riffs with a certain Black Sabbath spirit to them are key features throughout, with occasional runs with a pacier execution that arguably are closer to bands such as Metallica in sound and execution. Side by side with the doom metal oriented details we have a fair few galloping, spirited sequences that reside safe and sound within the power metal genre, and as far as the guitar solos are concerned neo classical and shredding are expressions that come fairly frequently to mind. There is more to this disc than merely strictly heavy metal based music however. Backing vocals and sound effects of the kind that often made me look for the Mellotron in the instrument credits, quite a few inserts of a more frail nature that most likely replicates the original soundtrack more closely, and in the opening and concluding track the basic premise of the story itself is revealed too in a spoken narrative. Further flavoring the reinvention of this soundtrack is the inclusion of a handful of fairly well known music pieces, the majority of them from well known metal compositions. A nice touch, even if not all of them are instantly recognizable, at least to my ears. With plenty of violins, flute, horn and other instruments not commonly used by heavy metal bands the overall mood and atmosphere of this production, as well as compositional structure I might add, do make this album one that should find favor also amongst fans of progressive rock. Despite the fact that the musical foundation is one more closely related to heavy metal.

Conclusion. The soundtrack to the 1967 cult movie "The Fearless Vampire Killers" has been reinvented with a lot of charm by Frank Badenhop and his myriads of musical friends. A production that blends core elements from heavy metal with arrangements and compositional structures with a closer relation to progressive rock, and the end result is an interesting and compelling one. A CD to seek out for those with a taste for something a bit out of the ordinary, especially those who have a just about equal fascination for traditional heavy metal and progressive rock.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: February 3, 2014
The Rating Room

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