Monday, July 31, 2017

Audio Drama Review: The Hound Of The Baskervilles (Cadabra Records) by Dave Wolff

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound Of The Baskervilles
To be released August 11th 2017
Released for airplay July 18th 2017
Produced by Bleak December, Inc.
Cadabra Records, the independent spoken arts label that released Clark Ashton Smith’s The Muse Of Hyperborea, present a modern adaptation of a timeless supernatural mystery. Cadabra has previously released spoken word adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft and Bram Stoker and has since added Roland Topor and Robert W. Chambers to its catalogue. More than a narrative, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound Of The Baskervilles is a thirty-five minute audio play featuring accomplished stage and screen actors. In its original form Baskervilles it is part of Doyle’s extensive Sherlock Holmes series, with elements of horror that chill readers to this day. It was serialized in an English fiction magazine called The Strand from August, 1901 to April, 1902. These elements should appeal to fans of extreme metal with occult and supernatural themes. Set in the nineteenth century English West Country moorland of Dartmoor, the original urban legend where many disappearances are said to have taken place, it involves an old mansion reputed to be haunted by its gruesome past, an unexplained death, escaped inmates from a mental asylum, mysterious lights and noises across the moorland and the underworld-spawned presence carrying out a blood curse that has held the Baskerville family for centuries. When surfing Youtube I’ve found radio dramas and audiobooks from the 1950s to the present. The dramas include Sci Fi Radio, Ray Bradbury 13, The Saint Vincent Price Radio Show and more recently BBC Radio. The audiobooks I found include adaptations from Stephen King, Clive Barker and many readings of Doyle’s novel. As with albums, the presentation and acting quality of each varies from adaptation to adaptation. As for this one, the most notable talent in this drama is legendary actor Sir Derek Jacobi as Sherlock Holmes, joined by Anthony D. P. Mann (who penned the liner notes for the Cadabra release) as Dr. John H. Watson, Ilke Hincer as Sir Henry Baskerville, Nikolas Yuen as Mortimer, Amie Bello as Mrs. Barrymore, Barry Yuen as Inspector Stapleton, Lisa Morrissey as The Hotel Attendant, James Hoergerl as The Boy and Richard Boyer as The Policeman. Mann’s narration as Dr. Watson, the actors’ portrayals of their respective characters, the music composed and performed by Brent Holland do their part to draw you into the story. Holmes, who does not believe in devils or ghouls, agrees to investigate the death that occurred at Dartmoor and is confronted with occurrences that challenge his perceptions of reason as he works to solve the mystery. The tone and soundtrack have been compared to the old Hammer Horror movies, and recapture that of the radio dramas I mention above. There are new projects Cadabra has planned for the unsuspecting listener; visit the label’s official site to read about them. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. The Hound of the Baskervilles - Part 1
2. The Hound of the Baskervilles - Part 2

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