© 2016 Lawrence Tuczynski
ALL info and scans courtesy of Brandon O'Brian
|Title||Sei Ikeno Works for Film: "The Bride from Hades" and "Spook Warfare"|
|Japanese Title||The Film Music of Sei Ikeno "Peony Lantern" and "Great Yokai War"|
|Music by:||Sei Ikeno|
|Number of tracks||52|
|Number of discs||1|
|Year of release/manufacture||September 10, 2014|
May 24, 2016
Review courtesy of Brandon O'Brian
Released by Salida in September 2014, this release contains the complete scores to "Peony Lantern" and "Great Yokai War". Both films were produced and released by Daiei in 1968. This is the first time that the complete score to "Peony Lantern" has been available. Four cues from the score were found on disc nine of the ten disc King of Monsters set (KICA 2201~10). Until this release, the only way to obtain the complete score to "Great Yokai War" was to purchase Salida's first release. It was a four disc set titled Sei Ikeno Works for Film (DESL-001-004), and it was released back in 2004. It was limited to only five hundred copies, and is almost impossible to find now. Luckily, Salida has made the score available again ten years later. This is Salida's fourth album release. Salida is a small, private Japanese record label.
The packaging design is well done here. Along with the glossy booklet cover, the booklet itself contains some black and white photos and information on the music and composer Sei Ikeno. Also included is an interview with actress Miyoko Akaza, who starred in "Peony Lantern". As for the tracks, the track list only consists of DB (Dubbing) numbers, with tracks 3 and 22 being literal translations. I prefer cue numbers over track names anyway. I have seen both films, so I'll do my best to review the music without giving away any spoilers.
The score to "Peony Lantern", the first of two scores on this CD, kicks things off with an eerie start with the brief TOP (track 1). DB3 (track 2) is also eerie, and is mysterious as well. Track 3, Amida Iroha Wasan (1), is an a capella cue that starts with an adult male singing, then changes to children singing. A shorter variation of this song will be reprised toward the end of the score (track 22). DB14 (track 9) might be the highlight here. It starts off a bit eerie and mysterious, then segues into something dreamlike. This dreamlike theme will also be heard in DB21(track 14), DB32 (track 19) and DB36 (track 23). Track 21, DB35 (Take 2), is a suspensful cue featuring quite a bit of drum work. The score concludes with DB36. The overall score makes for a pleasant listening experience, being mysterious, eerie and dreamlike.
The score to "Great Yokai War", the second of the two scores on this CD, is fantastic, truly fantastic. The score begins with the creepy DB1 (track 24). The cue alone will get you hooked to the score. The theme will usually be associated with the Yokai themselves. DB2i (track 27), which is the theme for the Babylonian vampire Daimon, is really unnerving. DB2-M3 (track 26), an unused cue, is another variation of Daimon's Theme. If the cue ended up being used, it would have been the first appearance of Daimon's Theme. DB3 (track 28) is another variation of Daimon's Theme, begins with a strike of the harp (strings) of a piano. These two variations of Daimon's theme will be repeated often, but their impact will never wear down. DB9 (track 30) is a fun cue featuring drum work. DB10 (track 31) marks the second appearance of the Yokai Theme. DB22 (track 40) is another variation of the Yokai Theme, and concludes with Daimon's Theme. DB25 (track 41) is another excellent cue. One of the best cues from this score is DB35. DB35 (track 49) is heard during the climax of the film when the Yokai converge to stop Daimon. DB36iA (track 51) is a dark variation of Daimon's Theme. DB36 (track 52) is heard during the conclusion of the film and is a beautiful cue. This is one of Sei Ikeno's finest scores, and is a hidden gem among Japanese film scores.
In conclusion, this is a great release from Salida and is packed nearly full with a little over seventy-nine minutes of music. Both scores are solid, and feature a variety of great cues. I purchased my copy in October 2014 at ARK Soundtrack SQUARE for $29.50, and it should still be available on their site. Believe me, you'll get your money's worth.
Sei Ikeno Works for Film "The Bride from Hades" and "Spook Warfare" (DESL-007)
"Peony Lantern" A.K.A. "The Bride from Hades" (1968)
"Great Yokai War", A.K.A. "Spook Warfare" (1968)