Thursday 15 July 2021

Dark Music Review: Anthology of the Dark

Dark Music Review: Anthology of the Dark

Review By Casey Douglass

Anthology of the Dark

Anthology of the Dark is a collection of tracks from composer Andy Fosberry, drawn from three feature films scored at the end of 2020. The films are all dark in some way, and range from science fiction to creature-feature horror. Many of the tracks incorporate sinister string tones, electronic “chase sequence-style” beats, and echoes that create unnerving feelings of space. There are also lighter moments of melody, and some interesting crescendos of energy.

One of my favourite tracks is Broken from the Beginning. It begins with a low swell of tone, one that has a rough, gyrating edge. Plinking fast tones roam from ear to ear, and are soon joined by a thumping scuffed beat. A piano melody tinkles in the darkness, and long string tones sail into the air, before the track ends with a vocal-like “ahh” tone. I enjoyed the ominous undercurrent of the darker sounds on this track, and how the lighter snatches of melody seemed to add a kind of perverse acceptance to things, for lack of a better word. The way that the strings seemed to simmer above things was also a fun extra layer to the track.

Another track that I enjoyed was Covert Reprogramming. A low pulsing tone is soon joined by another that twists up into a higher pitch. A crumpling, throbbing beat begins, and fast-paced notes that roam from left ear to right. Protracted strings bend and flow above a bed of fast pulsing electronic notes. A vibrating, buzzing tone agitates and circulates, shortly followed by a fast-paced and accelerating series of beats as something reaches completion. The track quietens into a more peaceful ending, an airy drone and light string notes the only witnesses left to what has happened. This track feels like mad science, blood-stained laboratories and mutation.

Finally, You Cannot Shut Me Down and Weapon of Choice are two more tracks that caught my attention. I like You Cannot Shut Me Down due to its mix of android voice-box buzz, its kinetic throbbing beat, its metallic, rattling thumps, and a feeling of being chased by something unstoppable. Weapon of Choice is the shortest track at 1:15 long, but I really enjoyed its gas-pipe hiss, gentle tones and slow strings.

I listened to Anthology of the Dark with no prior knowledge of the films Andy composed for, beyond what is mentioned in the album description. Taken as a compilation, the tracks seem to work well as a coherent whole, particularly helped by the sounds that seem to appear in more than one track. This helped to string things together nicely, while also allowing some of the one-off sounds to shine when they appeared. If you like horror film scores, head over to Bandcamp at the link below to listen to more of Andy’s work.

Visit the Anthology of the Dark page on Bandcamp for more information.

I was given a review copy of this album.

Album Title: Anthology of the Dark

Album Artist: Andy Fosberry

Label: Spun Out of Control

Released: 21 May 2021