Das Boot (series 2018)

Matthias Weber

" In retrospective, Doldinger’s music did have a distinguishable sound, unlike the approach of Weber. "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the regular release

Das Boot is the new 2018 series, a sequel to the classic film by Wolfgang Petersen. It takes place nine months after the events of the original, with narrative divided between one in a U-Boat and one on land, while also focusing on a new female lead character. Klaus Doldinger scored the original, and for the new series composer Matthias Weber took the helm.

I was never really taken by how the music of Doldinger worked in the original and would have preferred the power of sound design above music. Beyond the wonderful theme, there was very little worth remembering. The makers of the series decided to incorporate the original theme, forming a bridge between the old and new, but Weber merely presents it in fragmented treatments, and a little too much to my taste. I beg to differ. Most of the new music is so different, it more or less creates moments of distraction. It was the right the decision to avoid fully developed variations on the theme, but this does not work either. Instead, a few unobtrusive notes would have been about as much I could digest, preferably assigned for one or two special moments.

In retrospective, Doldinger’s music did have a distinguishable sound, unlike the approach of Weber. It’s a modern day minimalistic approach, with full orchestral elements, percussive programming and the continuum fingerboard. This minimal method, with more emphasis on crafting atmosphere, works splendid in context, but at times easily loses itself in anonymity, lacking strong, new thematic continuity. I do applaud the choice of Fingerboard, providing a type of sound slightly reminiscence of the old, while clearly belonging to modern times.

Both storylines of the series the events, aboard the U-Boat and the resistance, get a different sound, but both are hard to distinguish on album, yet in the series they are slightly more effective, but feel like moderate recognizable motifs. The overall dramatic scope of the score is slightly enhanced by the use of a full orchestra, but rarely makes a large impression. Luckily, the lead character Simone receives a small piano theme, the only memorable theme that Weber has written for the series. It is mostly heard in shorter takes, similar to how the Doldinger theme is treated, but it works so much better and carries an emotion needed to connect the audience.

Matthias Weber is, by all means, a good composer, who arguably has written his best score for Das Finnestere Tal in 2014. Das Boot does not strike me as one of his strong efforts, but does serve the series nicely.

1. Main Title – Das Boot – Series 2018 (1:23)
2. U 113 (2:23)
3. Two Bullets (1:11)
4. Defiance (3:07)
5. Requiem (1:16)
6. Hostages (1:38)
7. Simone (2:39)
8. The Laura Ethel Bank (1:40)
9. Departure (2:56)
10. Resistance (3:25)
11. Kasak (1:36)
12. Rendezvous (1:32)
13. Gunpoint (1:13)
14. Pillage (2:34)
15. Desistance (2:11)
16. Road Block (2:42)
17. Arrival (1:57)
18. Greenwood (2:58)
19. Infiltration (1:53)
20. Blindfold (1:08)
21. Reunion (1:52)
22. Torpedo (1:48)
23. Submersion (2:07)
24. Hoffmann (1:45)
25. Main Title – Das Boot – Series 2018 (Reprise) (1:20)

(click to rate this score)  
(total of 4 votes - average 3.5/5)

Released by

Bavaria Sonor Mediathek (regular release 2018)