Dave Miller,
Vampire's Lair: Blood Thirsty Beats for Halloween
(Delta, 2000)

My introduction to Dave Miller's music was the Halloween collection, Demons & Devils: Tunes from the Doomed. I enjoyed it so much that I had to have more of his work. I found, and purchased, Vampire's Lair: Blood Thirsty Beats for Halloween.

This collection begins with a mood-altering "Thunderstorm Night." It is not what you expect. The overall tone is light and airy. It is more relaxing than anything. I think this is where Dave Miller sets you up for the kill.

The music remains light and easy, even during "Killing Screams." It is unnerving to hear screams juxtaposed with this beautiful, serene music. Your mood swings.

Then you enter "Dracula's Castle" and that false serenity is gone. The music becomes ominous and touches a fear deep inside you during "Bloodless Face." You get a brief respite and may even wish to join the vampires in their "Vampire Dance," before being pulled back into the "Nightmare." The collection leaves you with the prediction that you will die.

"Bloody Flood" had a really odd effect on me. I think I missed the flood because I was on a flight -- soaring with the eagles and falcons. I felt the wind whipping my clothes as I plunged toward the ground, then climbed toward the moon. This selection is very similar to Native American flute music.

Vampire's Lair is not as ideally suited to Halloween as Demons & Devils, but it possesses the same masterful manipulation of emotion and psyche. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and wish I could order a copy without the screams and death threats. It would make a wonderful CD for any time of the year. It is like engaging in mental and emotional aerobics.

The sound is dramatically textured and layered. It seems to have an endless depth. A major difference between Vampire's Lair and Demons & Devils is that Vampire's Lair uses more fades (in and out) and reverberations. This yields a haunting, lonely air to the music.

Again I am awe-struck by Miller's collection and, again, I feel a need for more of his work.

My tomcat added his opinion of the realism of this collection. The mellow-bordering-lethargic old cat was asleep by the heater. Halfway through the CD, he leaped to his feet, arched his back, spat at the speaker, ran to the couch and leaped onto my thigh, digging claws deeply into my leg while growling and scanning the room for the all-too-real threat. Obviously this music has a scary effect on animals as well as people. Thomas sure was convinced.

I am convinced, also. Vampire's Lair will definitely not disappoint you.

music review by
Alicia Karen Elkins

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