Go ahead and add The Raven to the growing list of Cadabra releases that have absolutely blown me away. The music, voice acting and screen-printed disc are all effortlessly intertwined, for not only horror fans, but for fans of hand-crafted and detailed vinyl art. For people who base their purchases purely on looks, I can only say this: don’t sleep on this release.
It’s what’s buried in the grooves that interests me the most, though, and on that front this does not disappoint. Long-time Goblin member Maurizio Guarini provides the music, giving the poem — read masterfully by Anthony D. P. Mann — rhythmic legs to stand on. Guarini uses synth patches reminiscent of ’80s horror — bells, whistling notes, string pads — not in an alarming way but rather as a narrative in itself, writhing with the same metered cadence as the story.
And then there’s the art. The illustration from Sam Heimer — screenprinted on the disc by hand — is hard to fully appreciate without seeing it up close. It blends seamlessly into the label, the skeletal hand and face daring you to look, while the bird flies in the distance around a full moon. The sleeve is also hand screenprinted on clear Vellum paper to give it a ghostly effect. Inside are notes from Guarini about the recording process that were a joy to read.
If you haven’t guessed already, I’m in love with this release. Cadabra Records continue to push the boundaries of what you can do with spoken word vinyl, and on each new release they seem to raise the bar slightly higher than before. This record is a “must buy” for horror fans and is sure to become a highly collectible piece of art and music.
“The Raven” goes on sale Friday, Oct. 7 at 12 p.m. EST. There will be 200 available on clear with another 100 only going to subscibers.