Shadow Builder

Composed by: Eckart Seeber

Distributed by: KeepMoving Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Shadow Builder is a 1998 horror film based on short story The Shadow Builder by Bram Stoker of Dracula fame.  In the film, an evil Archbishop and his followers summon a demon to destroy the world, but the joke is on them.  The demon's first act is to destroy the very individuals who summoned it.  Gaining strength with each kill, how can anyone hope to stop it before it completes its mission?

                The musical score of Shadow Builder was created by Austrian composer Eckart Seeber.  With styles ranging from contemporary to classical, Seeber often incorporates traditional European sound in his compositional creations.  He has received a number of music awards and his scores have been performed in concert on radio and television.  Some of his works include Forbidden Love, To the Ends of Time, Jackie Chan: The Prisoner, Jet Li: Legend of the Red Dragon and more.

                A shorter version of the score created by Seeber for Shadow Builder was released on his own label, but the limited edition release by KeepMoving Records includes the entire score, with twenty minutes of previously unreleased music and a twelve-page booklet featuring liner notes regarding the creation of the film and score based on interviews with the director and composer. 

                As I listened to the score for Shadow Builder, I could tell that Seeber was looking for an old school horror sound, something to reflect the time period in which the original story was written.  He chose a somber, gothic, orchestral sound with dark and ominous choir vocals.  The longer I listened to the score, the more I understood why the original release of the Shadow Builder Soundtrack was a shortened version.  I soon became bored with what I was listening to.  I tried a number of times to listen all the way through to the end, but just couldn't keep with it.  All of the tracks began to sound the same...or at least extremely similar...and there seemed no end in sight.  The fact that the original score for this film was rejected, giving Seeber only six weeks with which to complete the entire score for the movie may explain this.

                In closing, there is no way I would recommend the Shadow Builder Soundtrack to anyone who is not a staunch lover of old gothic scores and who can stand to hear similar tracks performed over and over again for over an hour.


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