My heart jumped at the sound of Tony Todd’s chiseled, baritone voice: “Blood, there is so much blood here…”
Todd is best known as the hook wielding killer from the “Candyman” franchise, and hearing him speak (here, as Dracula) is like an aural injection of nostalgia straight to the brain, eliciting terrifying memories of blinking fluorescent lights and unsure bathroom mirrors. It’s incredibly smart to begin the record with only Todd and some light background music; you’re sure to be unnerved before the story even begins.
After the initial sequence is over, we fall into more traditional radio play fare. By now, most of us are familiar with the story of Dracula, so why should you give this adaptation a listen? Outside of Todd’s excellent performance, the high production value and rock solid voice acting really puts this over the edge. I found myself clinging to every scene; the music and effects so engrossing that I could actually see the set pieces clearly in my mind. Of particular note is how well the reverb sounds during scenes where they are underground, offset by the dry boomy sound of Todd’s voice as he interacts with the characters.
It’s hard to find any flaws in this release: the voice acting is great, Todd is exceptional, and the sound design shows a real attention to detail, helping to engross you in the well-tread story. I hope to see more full cast performances from Cadabra in the future; if you’re a fan of horror, you need to own this.
Easily one of the most beautiful releases I’ve seen from them, the gatefold package truly cuts no corners. The glossy gothic artwork glistens and shines over the matte black finish, while the inside gatefold has the liner notes from producer Anthony D.P. Mann. The vinyl itself is a smoky dark blue and gray marble, perfectly in tune with the appearance of Dracula in the damp streets of London. One unfortunate side effect of the sleeve’s matte finish is that it’s prone to fingerprint smudges; make sure and be careful when carrying it around. Other than that, it’s pretty much perfect.
Dracula is available on vinyl at Cadabra Records.