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Various Artists

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - The Black Room

Review by Gary Hill
There are times when I wish I had never started MSJ with the whole concept of track by track reviews. This album is a daunting one to do in that way. So, when you read the individual tracks here, understand, this is a soundtrack, and the music is built around how it fits into the film more than as songs. Beyond that, perhaps this doesn't fit under prog, but a few songs definitely do, so I've included it there. While I've listed this as "various artists," that's mostly because there are tracks here by people ranging from Lynn Anderson to Arthur Brown and Brainticket. The majority of this, though, is credited to Savant.
This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 3 at
Track by Track Review
Tarkus - the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Title Sequence)

A symphonic vision of the ELP classic, this is a powerhouse piece.

The Black Room

This really does feel dark and ominous. It's very much electronic music. It's also incredibly cool stuff. The piano is just plain creepy.

Rose Garden - Lynn Anderson
This is the classic country song.  I can't tell you if it's the original recording or not, but the vocals seem like it could be. So does some of the other instrumentation.
Shut the F*** Up

Dark and dramatic, this is soundtrack music, but it's also trippy and holds up well on its own. On the one hand, it's symphonic. That said, there is an electronic vibe to it in some ways, too.

Coming in mellower and quite ambient, this powers out mid-track into some powerhouse symphonic rocking music. It gets pretty freaky at times.
Two Years Later

Piano drives a lot of this piece, a sedate and rather pretty one. It does have a dark twist to it.

The Basement
This is a short bit of weirdness that's more sounds and ambience than music.
Mr. Fix-It
Coming in dark and dramatic, this is weird stuff. It turns to a powerhouse jam that's decidedly symphonic prog. This is crazed and so tasty.
This is just a short, pretty piece with piano and symphonic instruments.

Trippy sounds open this, and the cut moves forward from there. As this trudges forward it makes me think of something John Carpenter might do in some ways. It's another cut that fits under the symphonic prog heading.

Morning After
Mellower sounds that are more traditional soundtrack based, this is rather dark, but also has a gentle beauty to it.
Washing Machine
Electronic prog sounds merge with symphonic elements in a rather driving piece.
Paul's Possession
This comes in especially ambient. It grows out in an ominous, but understated way. It turns to powerful symphonic music as it continues.
Lebanese I
There are world music vocals over the top of this. It has a real middle Eastern sound, merging the world music with some symphonic elements. It has some intriguing shifts and changes and is one of the most extensive cuts here. It has a drop back to pure world music, too.
There is a weird distant vibe here, but it's the song "Fire" by Arthur Brown at the start. As it plays it kind of hits a couple different parts of the song. I can see the title because it's like a hazy kind of conglomerations or memories of music. More classical elements with some really powerful dramatic elements emerge later in the tune.
Fire - Arthur Brown
Here we get the song hinted at in the previous track. This rocker is dated in sound, but still holds up quite well.
Black Sand - Brainticket
Hard rocking and quite psychedelic, this jam is based on a cool groove. The vocals are spacey and the retro keyboard textures add a lot to this. There are some moments here that feel like early Hawkwind merged with Booker T and the MGs.
Lebanese II
More of the world music stylings we heard on part one are also on this one. The cut wanders more into some rather trippy symphonic territory, though.
Wall of Pleasure
This lands more in the realm of electronic based prog rock.
Elephant Man
Symphonic elements lead this piece out of the gate. It works from there in more classical ways. It turns very bombastic later in a turn of events. There are moments of this that sound almost like an elephant. This is rather unsettling at times.
There's Nobody Out There
Mellower symphonic elements do hint at isolation and nothingness. It twists around the two minute mark to frightening bombastic sounds to continue. It drops back down after that section to more sedate sounds to continue.
The Library
Mellower symphonic elements gets pierced by a bit of bombast. This is an intriguing cut with a lot of evocative hints.
The Confrontation
Creepiness permeates this piece. It's fairly mellow, but it's dark and hints at something dark and menacing.
Prepare Her

There's an electronic driving element to the start of this. The cut shifts to more sparse tones after that. Then a bombastic burst delivers a punch. We're back to the stripped back stuff beyond it, though. It gets driving and powerful as it continues from that point. but drops back again.

You're Starting to Scare Me

There is a rather dramatic, driving percussive element amidst electronic and symphonic elements. The cut turns to a dark and evil sounding movement further down the road after the percussive stuff has dropped away.

The Black Womb
This is an extensive piece at close to eight minutes in length. It's dark and menacing with symphonic elements, sound effects, electronics and more creating a real tension and sense of danger. There are some really bombastic sections later in the piece. There are some demonic sounding chorale vocals later in the piece, too.
Let's Make a Baby
This is a short bit of weirdness.
End Credits
This is a great blending of electronic music with symphonic and rock. It's a killer cut. In fact, it's one of my favorites of the set. We get some serious prog rock jamming later in the number.
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