Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Sunday, July 27, 2008


HellboyII - The Golden Army
Music by Danny Elfman
Varese Sarabande VSD 6910 (EU)
20 Tracks 59:34 mins

Director Guillermo del Toro forsakes his past relationship with Marco Beltrami, who did an excellent job on his previous English-language pictures, including of course the original Hellboy film, to enlist the services of comic book film scorer extraordinaire Danny Elfman in this latest outing for the mean red demon demolisher, Hellboy, played again by really the only man for the part, Ron Perlman.
There's no doubting the results would be excellent, but then I would have expected the same from Beltrami. Anyway, whatever the reasons for the change, Elfman certainly gives it his all, producing a big orchestral/choral score, which gets off to a blustering start in "Introduction," with some dark and powerful moments leading to a final crescendo.
The main character receives a an equally powerful march theme of his own in "Hellboy II Titles," which is followed by the percussive "Training," which sounds initially like it could have come from any number of martial arts films.
Some lightness is provided in tracks like "Hallway Cruise," exhibiting the loungy style Elfman used for Mars Attacks!, complete with theremin; and there are comic touches throughout. But much of the music is a combination of dark and menacing and full-on powerful action, all in the familiar Elfman style that his many fans will appreciate.
Standout moments include the relentless dark marches of "Where Fairies Dwell,"and ""A Troll Market," with its wailing soprano accompaniment; the Germanic choral of "Mein Herring;" the soaring nobility of "The Last Elemental;" and the uplifting "A Choice."
Rare moments of sentiment come in "A Link," "A Big Decision," "A Dilemma"and "Father and Son," before the latter errupts in exciting action to race to its conclusion.
The penultimate track "In The Army Chamber" provides a suitably grand slam finish to the action, with "Finale" bringing the score to a soaring, satisfying close; only to be slightly spoilt by the weird little ethnic-styled dance that ends the album. That aside, this is the score we should have had for The Dark Knight; something you can really get your teeth into and enjoy away from the film as well as up there on the screen.


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