Title
 The Inugami Clan - Original Soundtrack
International Title
 The Inugamis
Music By: Yuji Ono
Record Label: Culture Publishers
 
Running Time: 43:57 Discs: 1
Release: May 1998 CD Number: CPC8-3001
Comments
Anthony Romero
First off, huge thanks goes to Jessica Stan for sending this disc for review!

This disc contains the original soundtrack to The Inugamis (1976), the first in what would become a series of films on the Kindaichi character. While later films in the series, especially Hell's Gate Island (1977), would be dominated by rustic and great music by Shinichi Tanabe, this early effort was tackled by Lupin the Third series regular Yuji Ono. While the end result is not his better work, it does feature at least one diamond in the rough and is an overall interesting listening experience.

In terms of the diamond in the rough, the score has the "Ballade of Love" theme, a majestic, soothing and all around amazing cue that never gets old. It's far and away the best theme on the disc, and has a slightly different but good reprisal version at the end of the disc called "Solitude" as well. The rest of the disc is pretty dated, for better or worse. "Grudge" and "Cursed Mansion" are two perfect examples, featuring over the top guitar work that really draws far too much attention to itself and kind of sucks the listener out of the experience. Other themes like "Contemplation" also feature very experimental synth work, although at least do a far better job at mixing this with traditional techniques. If there is one thing the soundtrack deserves praise for, it's diversity in themes. While the score doesn't always hit the mark, tracks like "Lake Shadow" are more miss than hit for example, Ono does his best to make the soundtrack feel distinct from track to track.

Bottom line, for those who like music from this era, Ono does a fine body of work that while is so-so in most parts, does feature an amazing opening theme in "Ballade of Love".

One thing to note about this release is that it was later re-released alongside the soundtrack for the remake, Murder of the Inugami Clan (2006), by Sony in 2006 (ESCL-2923~4). While this CD is still nice, the later release contains two full soundtracks, and also expands this selection with eight bonus tracks through covering some of the movie versions of the themes rather than just the album cuts. Frankly, there is no reason to get this release over the later one. In terms of audio quality, for those curious, both are about on the same level with each other. I actually slightly prefer the sound quality from Culture's release over the Sony one, feeling it has slightly more clarity, but both are hard to distinguish from each other.
Rating: Star Rating
Tracks
  1. Ballade of Love
  2. Grudge
  3. Cursed Mansion
  4. Mask
  5. Demise
  6. Sad Prologue
  7. Theme of Hate
  8. Contemplation
  9. Lake Shadow
  10. Prayer (Ballade of Love)
  11. Blood Agony
  12. Illusions
  13. Solitude (Ballade of Love)