Vinyl Review: The Fog (Blakes Gold Edition)
Death Waltz Recording Company is label that knows what the fuck it’s doing, not only in terms of quality, but in how they treat their customers.
Earlier this year, the label put out a brand new edition of the soundtrack to John Carpenter’s classic film The Fog. Two versions were made available; a standard black edition, and a clear variant with colored splatter. Both were strictly limited.
Death Waltz deals in limited editions all the time, but the demand for this release was unlike anything they did before. When the item pages for the LPs were went live, their site crashed, leaving many who had placed orders in their carts to lose them, and many others not even able to get that far. By the time the mess was all sorted out, all the copies were snagged, leaving an angry bunch of soundtrack fans in its wake.
But like I said, Death Waltz is a label that knows what the fuck it’s doing. So as a response to this, and in an effort to cull eBay scalping/fanboy rage, they’ve gone ahead and done the right thing by making an all-new, just as nifty-looking second pressing of the soundtrack available. Not only that, they’ve seemingly made more than enough to go around, so anyone who wants a copy should be able to get one.
But should they?
Well, yes. Yes they should. I don’t want to be ambiguous here. I just thought that would make a good page break, sorry.
The Fog is another example of Death Waltz stepping up their game in every way imaginable. First of all, the presentation is off the charts. The sleeve is incredibly thick, one of the sturdiest, most heavy-duty LP sleeves I’ve ever come across. This feels even better than their Maniac release from a few months back. Really top of the line. I’ve heard some people rumble about the “ugliness” of the cover, and while I didn’t like it at first, it has definitely grown on me. It certainly does convey imagery from the film, and it does so in a very unique, interesting way. It’s not hitting you over the head with an iconic scene or shot from the movie, it’s going for broad strokes, a general feeling, and it works great.
The spot-on perfect presentation continues with the records themselves. For this repressing, Death Waltz decided to invoke the central plot point of the film, pirate gold, and go for a super polished, high-end, gold-colored pressing for both records of the 2LP set. They look incredible, and thankfully they also sound fantastic; this is another perfect-sounding Death Waltz record. I heard nary a pop or crackle on my copy, and I didn’t pick up any surface noise or hiss at all.
Death Waltz’s release of The Fog soundtrack marks the first time that the full, complete original score has been made available on vinyl, and those who have never had the chance to hear it in its entirety will certainly be in for a treat. Of all of Carpenter’s early scores, this one is probably his most ambitious. It’s still predominately (if not exclusively) a synthesized score, but it’s much bigger in scope than those that preceded it. He’s working much more with slow builds of tension here, and less with hooks, catchy melodies, or sudden, sharp sounds meant to enhance jump scares. It fits the “ghost story” tone of the film perfectly, while at the same time functioning quite well as a piece of standalone music, something you can rarely say about scores of its type.
This a great release that all horror movie fans should own. Kudos to Death Waltz for finding a way to re-release it and make as many fans happy as possible. Here’s hoping other vinyl re-issue labels follow their suit.