CD Reviews The Raven

Cadabra Records' - The Raven

Cadabra Records

I've been a lifelong fan of Edgar Allan Poe -- arguably the father of the Horror genre. His epic poem "The Raven" has always been my absolute favorite of his classic works. The minute I saw the press release about this new spoken word adaptation in my in-box, I jumped on it.

This version is on 7" vinyl, and is limited to a scarce 200 copies on clear wax, and 100 copies on transparent red. It's only available to the label's subscription series. A true collector's edition indeed! I highly recommend that you grab a copy!!!

The musical backdrop was indeed haunting, setting the perfect mood. The vocal performance was indeed intense, full of the emotion the poem evokes.

Spoken Arts label Cadabra Records announced a new liaison with reader Anthony D.P. Mann and musician Maurizio Guarini of the band Goblin. "The Raven" is the first of two collaborations between the label and the aforementioned pair.

Narrator Anthony D.P. Mann is a Canadian based filmmaker and actor with five feature films and a lifetime of stage and radio to his credit. In roles ranging from Count Dracula and the Phantom of the Opera to Ebenezer Scrooge, his love for the classics is evident in his work.

Composer Maurizio Guarini -- a core member of the band Goblin -- has released dozens of albums since the 'Seventies, including soundtracks for classics like Suspiria, the European release of Dawn of the Dead, and much more.

Guarini comments, "This was the first time I was involved with something like this. I mean, it's not a movie where you basically work on visuals. It's not a stand-alone studio project. Working with the spoken word lets the music play a stronger role. Visuals are just on the imagination of the listener, so a different approach was needed."

The truly gruesome cover art was handled by renowned Horror author artist Sam Heimer.

However, this is a "Cliff Notes" version of the classic poem, skipping over a LOT of the verses -- mostly those opining the untimely death of "the lost Lenore". Luckily it did highlight the interactions between the narrator and the ebony-feathered title character.

~Athena Schaffer