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Vampires of Dartmoore - Dracula's Music Cabinet CD (album) cover


Vampires of Dartmoore



2.35 | 14 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
Special Collaborator
PSIKE, JRF/Canterbury, P Metal, Eclectic
1 stars Now here's a real kitschy obscurity that was excavated from someone's cellar and resurrected into the modern era. This bizarre idea was the result of the rise of B-movies in the mid-1960s that were increasingly mixing tawdry sexploitation with horror themes which became dubbed horrotica and THE VAMPIRES OF DARTMOORE were but one of many Germans to put out horrotica-themed albums such as DRACULA'S MUSIC CABINET in the 60s and 70s. The approach to this album is like many of the Euro-horror films of the day which contains a kitschy blend of psychedelia and lounge jazz and despite its best efforts absolutely fails to evoke any kind of horror at all. The whole idea was intended to be a soundtrack to a movie that never existed, which was a novel idea for the time.

Although the CABINET'S OF DRACULA is pretty much an instrumental lounge jazz affair musically, it is stuffed to the gill with different sound effects. This project was the idea of Heribert Thusek, who was a session player and library music composer and radio comedian Horst Ackerman. They together are THE VAMPIRES OF DARTMOORE. While the concept is supposed to be about VAMPIRES and horrotica, the actual content is a bit unfocused and at times just stupid. The first track "The Torture Chamer Of Dr. Sex" pretty much sets the tone for a lounge jazz feel embellished with moans and groans and S & M sounds. The rest of the album follows suit but instead of the expected Halloween friendly music and sound effects, we get some real lame choices with tracks like "Dance Of The Vampire" which is stuffed to the gills with "boing boing" sounds. Are they dancing to evil or jumping on pogo sticks for frack's sake?

The one track i kinda like is "Handful Of Nitro" which sounds kinda like Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" on surf guitar with cheesy psychedelic keyboards and occasional explosions. There are also little Krautrock breaks that last a few seconds before the guitar starts in again. While the theme does fit in with the name of the track, what in the world do nitro explosions have to do with VAMPIRES? Uggh! I really find this album annoying. Not because i don't think the idea was worthy though. While VAMPIRES are not my most beloved theme, i have an appreciation for good cheesy novelties done right, but on this one i find absolutely nothing scary, nothing funny and nothing interesting and not even my idea of a B-movie as even the kitschy intent is weak.

There exists a myth that recounts the Hairy Hands of Dartmoor where after 300 imprisoned sailors attempted to escape one fateful evening, they ended up shot down en masse by the guards and one of the spirits of the dead would appear as a pair of Hairy Hands that steered victims of visitors leaving the English village of Postbridge to their deaths, but this tale of horror at hand is a different breed. For the horrendousness lies in the fact of just how bad it is in achieving any kind of emotional connection to either VAMPIRES, horror flicks or erotica for that matter. The only thing that gives me that good ole VAMPIRE feel is that after 38 minutes of listening to this release is like having many pairs of fang scars on my neck where that precious time has been sucked right out of me never to return again. I seriously listened to this several times in order to give it a fair chance but i can honestly say that with this one it just gets worse. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark going to the karaoke bar singing David Hasselhoff songs sounds more appealing than this one. 1.5 stars rounded down!

siLLy puPPy | 1/5 |


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