" Play it loud, let the haunting melodies do the rest "
Written by Thomas Glorieux
- Review of
the limited release
I'm a sucker for horror movies, whether it concerns zombies, monsters or the supernatural. But these kinds of movies don't necessarily follow the melodic approach when addressing oneself in the picture musically. So welcome one that does. I liked the movie The Awakening for many reasons (including the well developed story line), but it becomes also something entirely engaging once you hear a Gothic melodic orchestral score behind it. And that my friends is exactly what one receives, thanks to the understanding of actual melodic music by director Nick Murphy and the composer that brings it Daniel Pemberton.
Now, the moment I heard the music unleashing all kinds of eerie sounds over the opening titles (not heard on this album), I immediately knew something was about to grab my attention. And once I heard brooding orchestra and large choir growing towards a climax in "The Seance", that something already arrived. Especially if there's a beautiful solo violin theme before that that acts as main theme on the album (you'll see it as a clone of The Village's main theme I'm sure). Now the album's sadly not unleashing that kind of quality all the time, but what you do receive is familiar but crafty chilling music. Doing all the nessecary tricks inside the film, and haunting your very soul on disc, the score is definitely listenable during these occasions. We have traveling music for choir in "High over Cumbria" and "Arrival at Rookford", creepy sitar, shrieking violins and distorted flutes in "Chasing Footprints" and "The Dollshouse" and many soft pieces for solo vocals in "Semper Veritas", "Lock the House" and The Hallway" to name but a few.
But it's in the final 10 tracks that The Awakening delivers you that something extra. "The East Bedroom" brings unsettling dramatic / horror music, there's delightful use of eerie choir and strong orchestral music in "Don't Tell Tom", we receive a fantastic eruption of the choir over the main theme in the brilliant climatic "Chorus de Susticatio (Chorus from The Awakening)", we get a beautiful dramatic song in "Be Still my Soul" and we get a wonderful 9 minutes of high quality music in "Florence is Free", "The Awakening (Credits)" and "Reprise (Theme from The Awakening)", enough to make you a believer of this composer's obvious talent.
I have no doubt that the music makes the movie 20 % better, like good horror music needs to do. But not only does it enhance the thrills and chills here, it also elevates the dramatic storyline and performances on screen. While the atonal and eerie pieces do tend to be of the familiar nature, it's amazing to discover rich dramatic music alongside of it. So strongly actually that people who loved those violin efforts in The Village and the dramatic impact in The Orphanage will actually receive more of that here. Needless to say, this is one of the best entries of Screamworks Records yet, and comes highly recommended.
1. Seeing through Ghosts (Theme from The Awakening) (1.46)
2. The Seance (2.07) Excellent track
3. 'Oh, Coccinelle' / Deep Breaths (2.22)
4. High over Cumbria (0.56)
5. Empty Classrooms (2.15)
6. Florence Cathcart (1.55)
7. Arrival at Rookford (1.18)
8. Semper Veritas (1.32)
9. Preparations (1.49)
10. Chasing Footprints (3.22)
11. Lock the House (1.26)
12. The Hallway (1.04)
13. Scars (1.07)
14. There is Nothing (0.58)
15. Don't Go Away (1.00)
16. The Dollshouse (2.31)
17. No Walls or Floors (1.43)
18. Damaged People (1.08)
19. Patience (3.08)
20. Florence Vanishing (1.29)
21. The East Bedroom (3.33)
22. Don't Tell Tom (2.39) Excellent track
23. Chorus de Susticatio (Chorus from The Awakening) (1.57) Excellent track
24. A Death Remembered (1.18)
25. Be Still my Soul (4.16) Excellent track
26. Florence is Free (2.57) Excellent track
27. The Awakening (Credits) (3.20) Excellent track
28. Reprise (Theme from The Awakening) (2.31) Excellent track
Total Length: 57.27