It's Saturday and another month has flown by; meaning it's time for me to yet again do some writing and give you guys some insight into what I've been listening to this week...
This #ScoreOTM will probably come as a surprise to some... The hardcore gamer of my youth is currently screaming as I admit this, but I've never played the Assassin's Creed games! (although I have heard the majority of Lorne Balfe & Jesper Kyd's scores). I also don't generally go for move adaptations of games... I think that's something that may change for me as video games are certainly becoming more and more cinematic with every passing year; my buddies are increasingly working to get me back into video games, but without digressing to far, let's return to the subject of the film and why it's taken this week's first pace.
First and foremost, despite the general criticism I have read online over the past few months, I'd like to take this opportunity to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed Kurzel's score both on the big screen against the picture and alone as a standalone soundtrack album. Perhaps I'm missing something in terms of atmosphere which the scores for the games had (especially given I didn't pay them), as I am kind of puzzled as to why this score seems to have been so disliked. That is in part the reason I chose it this week, I think it deserves some recognition!
Jed Kurzel is a new name to me and I didn't really know what to expect when entering the movie theatre, but I found the opening themes to be interesting, other-worldly and ethereal, emotionally stimulating when needed and voice the action and chaotic nature of the film very well.
A section of the main theme and general bombastic action of the score is introduced straight away in the first cue "Young Cal" where we hear raspy, staccato brass accents, wood blocks, taikos, snares, metals, bass drums; eerie string sections with sul ponticello performance instructions (which I personally absolutely love) and various organic sound design instruments... I mean it really sets you up for a good show. Similar cues are heard and developed throughout, a good example of this would be "Second Regression", it takes on more of a military stance mid cue as we take in the action, but the core of the cue is the same.
Cues such as "The Execution", "Abstergo", "Columbus" and "Seville" build on the main themes and speak on a more emotional level as we begin to learn about Cal and his families past... As usual, these would seem to be my favourite cues of the score. Kurzel capitalises on the use of drawn out, arco performances across the string section, but leaves room to introduce those deep foreboding basses sections to carry the heaviness of the mood; these are accompanied by subtle synth lines and lush pads. These cues also interested me as the melodies are vaguely reminiscent to Hans Zimmer's work for Interstellar, I don't mean so much in the sense that the melodies have been plagiarised, but more the religious/grandiose sound has been orchestrated and achieved in very similar ways; the sentiment is very much the same!
Another standout cue for me is "The Mutiny", I love the distorted and hybrid electronic approach, it's been popular in the car this week!
What did you thin of the score? Did you like the film? Let me know in the comments box below...