Blood on Satan's Claw - film soundtrack (LP Trunk Records)
Released in 1971, Piers Haggard's (Quatermass TV series, Armchair Theatre) British horror film set in the 17th century was in the tradition of the much acclaimed Witchfinder General (1968.) Witchcraft and fear abound when the skull of an unknown creature is uncovered in a field, causing a spread of evil doings across the village. Cue lots of shots of women taking their knickers off, because that's what Satanists do, don't you know.
It's been over shadowed by The Wicker Man as it's a pretty enjoyable film and deserves to be screened more often. One of the crucial elements of the film is the understated orchestral soundtrack. This is soundtrack music done the good old fashioned way. Broody, intricate and playful, it thankfully lacks the over-produced bombastic nature of modern horror soundtracks. Just be grateful it was made in pre-doom-metal days.
A recurring theme involves the use of ascending and descending chromatic scales with, as composer Marc Wilkinson (Rosencrantz & Guildenstern) usefully mentions on his sleeve notes, what's known amongst music bods as the Devil's Interval. Ooo err! In contrast to the Pagan inspired soundtrack to The Wicker Man, its somewhat flowery arrangements root the film in an ambience of natural magic born of the Earth.
Best of all, lots of naked women all over the front and back covers. Huzzah! It's limited to 500 copies and also comes in an unlimited Cd edition. HM