David Arnold

" You can't go wrong with David Arnold 's epic stuff "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the deluxe edition

Anyone wondering where the magic came from? Anyone searching for the one who brought us some of the most magical music of the 90's? Well, if still someone is wondering who it is, they haven't been paying attention to the career of David Arnold, the man responsible for all that legendary material. Because let's be honest, ID4 isn't the only classic out there. Several years before ID4 we discovered that Stargate was another treasure to belove and behold all right. Its wondrous tones or its outstanding menacing qualities for when Ra, the Sun God appears whenever on the forefront, Stargate is impressive in both its heroic as darker materials and this is what makes the listen so grand. And right now, Varèse Sarabande has released a Deluxe Edition of this masterpiece, to give you, the audience more of that material in an equally rousing listen.

This deluxe edition brings about 10 minutes more of music of which "Wild Abduction" is an atonal appetizer", there's about 20 seconds that's added to "Translation and "Orion" which feels rather pointless since it doesn't flow together quite fluently, the sinister "Bomb Assembly", the threatening tone of "The Eye of Ra", the brilliant threat of "Execution", the appearance of the love theme in "The Kiss / The Seventh Symbol", and rousing heroics from both Ra's powerful motifs as Daniel's fighting escapades are heard in "Transporter Horror", that's what this Deluxe Edition offers as extra material. Apart from the last 3 mentioned tracks, most of these aren't really necessary, but it's good to have em I guess. The last 3 mentioned tracks at least deliver us another reprisal of the much forgotten love theme, plus we have Ra's awesome threat coming alive through his 2 motifs in "Execution". At least that stands for something.

Besides the extra material, this score delivers you the same rousing voice from begin to end, from the broad main theme that explodes on the screen to the massive choral climax that unleashes its devils at the end of both your cinema screen and surround system. "Stargate Overture" is the tone of both, covering in begin and end a menacing quality with the strings that create this excellent villain theme, just perfect for the nature that Ra upholds. And in between you have the wondrous main theme that remains to date one of the greatest main themes of all. After that we have "Giza, 1928" which is wondrous when we receive a heavenly choral moment for the discovered Stargate.

But Stargate has more themes up its sleeve, like the military march that appears regularly in the begin, like in "Translation and Orion" or in "You're on the Team" which isn't far away from something darker of Godzilla. Take also notice of its Arabic counterpart in the secondary part of "The Kiss / The Seventh Symbol" Another theme to remember is the love theme which appears perhaps a little too less on the soundtrack, in "Daniel and Shauri" for instance as in the newly added "The Kiss / The Seventh Symbol".

But there is more, apart from the menacing theme for Ra (which appears by violin the best in "Myth, Faith, Belief" and with sheer bloody atonality in "Sarcophagus Opens") there is also the more darker fanfare for the power that Ra symbolizes, without choir like in "Ra - The Sun God" or with choir like in "Procession". The best of both worlds find each other in the new track "Execution". And then there's the adventure theme in wonderful form, first in "Mastadga Drag", later mixed with a world climax of the choral fanfare for Ra in a knockout track "Kasuf Returns". And then I forgot to tell you about Daniel's Theme which crops up a lot during the score.

And for you trailer freaks out there, 3 parts of this music were used in the teaser of Dragonheart, the choral wondering at the end of 6, the mysterious ominous tones of 8 to represent the beginning of the teaser and the heroic adventure theme (also in Jumanji for instance) of 29 to give it a more spicy flavor.

Of course I'm not over with praising this score to the death. "Battle at the Pyramid" has great action music that links itself to Independence Day with its thunderous brass and rhythm, the heavenly magic that counter attacks the true atonality of the time travel in "Entering the Stargate", the wondrous fanfare of the main theme when the team finally discovers where they are in "The Other Side", the Arabic main theme variation in "Caravan to Nagada", the beautiful violin sound in "Symbol Discovery", the Aliens like threat in "Leaving Nagada" or the heroic "Slave Rebellion", it's but a fragment of what Stargate delivers you.

You see, all this together and you receive Stargate, an album that might not be frequently mentioned like say Independence Day, but one that holds the same rousing David Arnold music we love from his so dearly nonetheless. This is a classic in every sense of the word, using multiple motifs and themes to strengthen an already powerful score. So if you think you've heard already all there is to be heard when you've only experienced ID4 and Godzilla, think again. Stargate is basically as strong as any of those 2. And now with this deluxe edition that offers you at least various extra minutes of important score, there is no denying it anymore. Stargate is your one-way ticket home.


1. Stargate Overture (3.00) Excellent track
2. Wild Abduction * (1.19)
3. Giza, 1928 (2.11) Excellent track
4. Unstable (2.08)
5. The Coverstones (0.59)
6. Translation * and Orion (1.49)
7. The Stargate Opens (3.58) Excellent track
8. You're on the Team (1.56)
9. Entering the Stargate (2.57)
10. The Other Side (1.44) Excellent track
11. Bomb Assembly * (1.10)
12. Mastadga Drag (0.57) Excellent track
13. The Mining Pit (1.35) Excellent track
14. King of the Slaves (1.16)
15. Caravan to Nagada (2.17) Excellent track
16. The Eye of Ra * (0.41)
17. Daniel and Shauri (1.53)
18. Symbol Discovery (1.13) Excellent track
19. Sarcophagus Opens (0.56)
20. Daniel's Mastadge (0.49)
21. Leaving Nagada (4.10)
22. Ra - The Sun God (3.23) Excellent track
23. The Destruction of Nagada (2.09)
24. Myth, Faith, Belief (2.19)
25. Procession (1.43) Excellent track
26. Slave Rebellion (1.00)
27. We Don't Want to Die (1.58)
28. Execution * (1.18) Excellent track
29. The Kiss * / The Seventh Symbol (1.50)
30. Against the Gods * (0.34)
31. Quartz Shipment (1.27)
32. Battle at the Pyramid (5.02) Excellent track
33. The Surrender (1.45)
34. Transporter Horror * (1.49)
35. Kasuf Returns (3.06) Excellent track
36. Going Home (3.10) Excellent track

Bonus Track
37. Closing Titles (Intro) * (1.13) Excellent track
* Previously Unreleased

Total Length: 72.54
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 26 votes - average 4.6/5)

Released by

Varèse Sarabande 302 066 743 2 (deluxe edition 2006)

Conducted & Orchestrated by

David Arnold

Performed by

The Sinfonia of London & The Chameleon Arts Chorus