Released for the first time on any recording, Kronos records bring us as part of its GOLD COLLECTION, SANGRAAL LA SPADA DI FUOCO (THE SWORD OF THE BARBARIANS), the musical score is penned by Italian composer Franco Campanino, who worked on other scores for films such as IGUANA, AMAZONIA and A MAN CALLED MAGNUM, IN FACT Campanino was quite busy between 1974 and 1988 scoring approx 23 movies. the film was released in 1982, and was obviously one the many flicks that was being produced at the time because of the success of CONAN and that movies various imitations. The score for THE SWORD OF THE BARBARIANS is in fact quite an accomplished and interesting one, the composer making effective use of choir for much of the work, the Maestro supports and embellishes the choral parts of his score with percussion and also the use of the brass section of the orchestra which in turn is enhanced by strings. The choral sections of the score are I think directly influenced by the work of Carl Orff within CARMINA BURANA or maybe the composer took his cue from Basil Poledouris’s CONAN or Jerry Goldsmith’s OMEN soundtracks either way the effect is quite stunning and is also a rewarding listen away from the savagery and images of the movie. In many ways Campanino evokes the sound and also the atmosphere of Italian sword and sandal epics from way back by composers such as De Masi, Lavagnino, Rustichelli and Savina, but as this a rather more recent movie in this a progression or sub genre of those films it also contains themes and quirks of orchestration that are related to the late 1970,s and early 1980,s. I am not a fan of this type of film, yes I did like films such as CONAN and BEASTMASTER but I was never overwhelmed by the original sword and sandal epics, they always seemed rather slow and deliberate to me. The plot of THE SWORD OF THE BARBARIANS is not really anything original, in fact it has so many affiliations with CONAN it is a wonder that the filmmakers were not sued.

Maestro Campanino.
Maestro Campanino.

The central character Sangraal vows vengeance after his wife is killed by followers of the evil Goddess Rani, Sangraal makes his way to ark of the Templar’s to obtain an enchanted crossbow that will help him in his fight against the cult. So I suppose it could be seen as Indiana Jones meets Conan, it’s a fun romp with lots of action and some blood spilling and scenes of heads being lopped off etc and the composer produced an effective score to accompany all of that action. Good sound quality and impressive cover art and notes. Worth checking out.