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Composer Darrin Verhagen’s trademark lush symphonic darkness is paired back to reveal the pulsing core beneath — an evocative ambient, post-industrial, drone soundscape. The score ranges in mood across the narrative arc. The occasional wrought orchestral highlights will be welcome touchstones for fans of the band’s earlier Witch Trilogy opus; dark ambient environments envelop the listener like a radioactive fog; and threaded throughout this lush darkness are moments of momentum, driven by electronic sequences as the drama continues to build.

Based on the 9th circle of hell in Dante’s Inferno, the film Black Garden begins on Christmas Eve in the near future. It’s eight days after the end of World War III and a handful of survivors wait to die, except one. As Kate makes contact with an unknown radio broadcaster, she travels on foot in search of his broadcast location until the true intention of the voice reveals himself.

For this mysterious journey, Shinjuku Thief’s score speaks to the emotional heart of the story as the central character comes to terms with both her existing loss as well as her growing suspicion of the conspiracy that’s unfolding.

This is the first Shinjuku Thief soundtrack since 2016’s acclaimed Boys in the Trees. Whilst that score had an almost John Carpenter-esque lilt, Black Garden is a much more overtly dark and mysterious affair.

Stay indoors. Turn out the lights and let Verhagen gently feed you his latest nightmare.

Released in 2020 on Bakers Road Entertainment.

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