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Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Music by Geoff Zanelli
La-La Land Records LLLCD 1088 (US)
15 Tracks 64:34 mins

Having previously released Geoff Zanelli's music for the live-action version of Hitman, it looks as if La-La Land Records has developed yet another special relationship with a composer with the release of his latest score for the imaginative Outlander, which sees an alien crash-landing in the time of the vikings and unwittingly loosing a dragon-like creature on the local population.
For the film Zanelli has created a big orchestral score, performed by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra, enhanced by electronics, including vocal samples, to give that characteristic, what used to be Media Ventures, sound, which of course Zanelli was involved with.
The album gets underway with the huge, fateful sound of "Setting the Trap," with featured vocalist Jennifer Jardine first adding her haunting sound to the opening of the subsequent "Gunnar's Raid," before pounding percussion heralds the powerful action writing that follows, with choir and electric guitars joining the mix. Ms Jardine's voice features again strongly in the suitably tragic "The Moorwen Genocide" that follows, with more powerful action writing featuring again in "Tell Me About Your Dragon, embellished by some eerie, unsettling moments.
Ms Jardine briefly returns for the initially saddish, then increasingly heroic "Gods Be With You," before the track takes on a brutally relentless feel, turning eerie and threatening before ending powerfully. There is a somewhat otherworldly feel to "Crash Landing," with Ms Jardine again adding her ethereal vocals, continuing into "Kainan's Capture," before ending sturdily. The following "Interrogating Kainan" is largely, as one would expect, a tense affair, but is followed by the largely peaceful, ethnic-styled strains of "Herot Town - 709 AD," although the track ends on a determined note. There's a heroic nobility to "Now You Look Like a Viking," which is followed by the initially threatening "It Was a Bear," complete with a similar twisted brass sound to that which Jerry Goldsmith employed in The Edge, the cue ending in a brief burst of action. "That Was Not a Bear" continues in the same vein as the previous track, with more tense and threatening music giving way to pounding action writing.
"Into the Morwen Lair" opens suspensefully, as one might expect, but turns increasingly eerie and barbaric as it heads to its conclusion, leading to a lengthy showdown in "Killing the Beast," that is as poignant as it is heroic, as the Morwen are a dying breed back on their home planet.
The final track on the album ends proceedings in style with "Kainan Becomes King."
Accompanying this limited edition of just 1500 units is a colourful booklet, featuring stills from the film, a brief synopsis, musical credits, which also acknowledge a new name to me, that of Bobby Tahouri, who apparently composed "additional music" for the film; together with notes from both the composer and the director of the film. Order your copy from, where you can first preview some of the music if you wish.


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