Ash vs Evil Dead is nearing the end of its first season run, and now the show’s original score by Joseph LoDuca is available on digital download and CD coming soon. The album follows in the footsteps of the film series; but now that Ash has grown older and gotten himself into all kinds of new trouble, we are treated to musical styles and cues never presented before in any of the Evil Dead films. Not only are we exposed to many of the series’ familiar brooding soundscapes and horrific stingers, we even have Western-style Rock themes thrown into the mix.
“What makes the EVIL DEAD saga unlike any other franchise is its ability to jerk the audience between horror and humor,” LoDuca stated. “Bruce coined a term for this unique genre: Splatstick. The score is like films in its approach: The music plays the straight man. That means the drama is dead serious; the action is intense; and the horror is treated with shock and dread. As a result, the humor lies in its juxtaposition to the music, and only on rare occasions does the music give in. Ash, our hero finally has his theme, a retro-lone gunman-with-a-chainsaw voiced on baritone guitar. To achieve this I played a one-man 70’s rock band on some of the tracks. Fortunately, I also had a full orchestra and chorus on the music that appears on the album [with] Lucy Lawless and Gia Warner on vocals, and Rayse Biggs on trumpet [who] graced a few of the tracks.”
In a way, this soundtrack seems like a fitting piece of the continued story of Ash and the Evil Dead. We have evolved through each chapter from the dark and haunted tone of the first film, to the more energetic and frantic style of Evil Dead II, to the epic and medieval sounding score of Army of Darkness. Ash vs Evil Dead takes many of the same old cues and brings them back into play full force. What really separates this one though is how connected to the show it is, in that the Classic Rock sounding guitar riffs and the occasional Morricone-like Western nods are reflective of where Ash is as a middle aged, washed-up warrior who can deal damage and kill deadites like nobody’s business.
The score is a perfect accompaniment to the show and makes for a great and entertaining listening experience on its own. Joe LoDuca is working at the height of his powers here commanding every section of the orchestra to create unnerving compositions that go from being dark and malevolent to vibrant and exciting in a heartbeat. Everything from the bombastic horn and string sections to the disturbing synths and terrifying chorus is presented well here, even if a few tracks sound as if they were cut off a little early. Highlights on this record include the tracks Sheet Show / Main Title, Linda / Where It Began, A Foul Wind Bloweth / Mom Returns, Evil Catches Up, Missed Ya’, Without Evil There Is No Good and of course Ash’s Theme. Definitely check this one out if you have enjoyed any of the Evil Dead films, and especially if you dig the show.
Out of a Possible 5 Stars