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

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Drag Me To Hell
Music by Christopher Young
Silva Screen Records SILCD1311
14 Tracks 52:30 mins

It seems these days that every other film is a horror/thriller film and that every one of them gets a soundtrack release. Many of them are virtually unlistenable, but now and again a good one comes along, usually because its the result of an experienced hand, and there's none more experienced among contemporary film composers than Christopher Young who, whilst scoring almost every kind of picture these days, is a self-confessed horror fan and therefore returns to the genre on frequent occasions.
Of course it helps if the film is half decent as well and, when Sam Raimi is at the helm, you know you're in safe hands.
The album gets underway with the powerful title track, a devilish Gypsy violin playing over orchestra and choir, as it flows to a big climax. The Gypsy violin is to feature throughout the score and continues into the following "Mexican Devil Disaster," though an distant and fragile soprano voice hangs over much of the track, before the orchestra erupts into violence. "Tales of a Haunted Banker" provides a little light relief, with its pretty, pianistic melody. It doesn't last long though and the frightening "Lamia" follows. A cold, ominous opening with savage bursts of choir, gives way to a wild, almost carnival-like theme, as it marches relentlessly towards a big, almost awe-filled choral conclusion. "Black Rainbows" opens eerily, but again erupts, albeit briefly, before continuing darkly with choral mumblings, which build in intensity to another huge climax. More eeriness follows in "Ode to Ganush," before another moment of relief with "Familiar Familiars" and its nostalgic piano theme.
The lengthy "Loose Teeth" starts mysteriously, the tension mounting before all hell is let loose in a frighteningly dissonant combination of orchestra and choir, which dies away to an ominous conclusion. The haunting soprano returns for the mysterious of "Ordeal By Corpse," which is followed by more eeriness in "Bealing bells With Trumpet," the tension again building to an intense climax.
"Brick Dogs Ala Carte" sees a brief reprise of the pretty piano theme, followed by the strangely titled "Muttled Buttled Brain Stew"(reminding one of the kind of screwball titles Young often used to come up with for his cues) which, after some more devilish violin work, marches toward another violent climax. The penultimate track, "Auto Da-Fe" sees a return to the main theme in all its relentless glory, enhanced in fine style by Gothic organ, before erupting in some pretty savage dissonance, only to end peacefully.
Young concludes the album in fine style, with his "Concerto To Hell," featuring an almost spiritual choral and then yes, the return of that devilish Gypsy violin, bookended by his splendid main theme, with the violin, of course, having the final say.
Fans of Christopher Young and particularly his Hellraiser scores are going to lap this one up. It's certainly the best horror score I've heard for a while and well worth checking out.
Released on Monday, you can rder your copy from


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