THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT-the fantasy film music of Chris ridenhour.

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The thing that I remember most about the movie THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT was the driving and vibrant score by a composer who at the time I had not heard of, Chris Ridenhour. Asylum Pictures who released the movie have produced a good number of films over the past five years or so and Chris Ridenhour is the composer who is most likely to have scored these, in fact I think I am correct in saying he has been associated with at least in 99 point 9 percent of the Asylums output. This particular compilation was the one I was most looking forward to hearing, as it contains not only THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT but also Ridenhour’s excellent scores for MERLIN AND THE WAR OF THE DRAGONS, THE 7 ADVENTURES OF SINBAD, DROGONQUEST and also treats us to a bonus track of the trailer music for MERLIN AND THE WAR OF THE DRAGONS, which in itself is exhilarating and stimulating. Each and every suite on this collection is brimming with exuberant and exciting passages of music and musical sounds that not only excite and tantalise the listener but also have an attractive quality and sound to them. The composer is obviously at home providing a movie with a fast paced action cue but he is also capable of producing some lighter, quieter and subtle compositions that add depth and emotion to the proceedings. Plus he produces some fine themes which just seem to rear their head out of nowhere but always hit the mark. MERLIN AND THE WAR OF THE DRAGONS in particular is a score of much worth and in my opinion is probably the composers best and most ambitious work. It contains some interesting chorale work and the composer fuses choral sounds with that of growling brass and driving strings that come together to create a sense of urgency and also an atmosphere that is filled with dread and foreboding. Also within this score we can hear the use of soprano voice which is accompanied by subtle and delicate placing of underlying strings and chimes that make the already mysterious sound of the voice become even more magical and mesmerising. Considering that this like most of Asylums productions is fairly low budget  the composer has fashioned a score that sounds big budget and large scale, thundering percussion supports brass and strings as they forge onward punctuating the storyline unfolding on screen.
Because of the budgets on these productions I would think that the majority of the composer’s music is of the synthesised variety and maybe he bolsters this with the occasional utilisation of traditional instrumentation. I say maybe, because once you get into the compilation and hear some of the themes and also the action music it is hard to determine at times if this is synthesised or real musicians.
Either way the results are pretty impressive and this compilation does for me at least stand out from the other two that Movie Score Media have issued. I can’t wait for the day when Ridenhour gets a big movie and a symphony orchestra to tinker with; when that day arrives I think we are in for something special. As with the other two compilations in this trio the music is arranged especially into suites that are lengthy and contain good representations from each score. DRAGONQUEST is also an interesting work, released in 2009; the movie tells the story of a young hero who has to undertake a series of quests in order to wake a dragon that will battle an evil monster that has been summoned by an ancient warlord. Again Ridenhour rises to the challenge providing a full bloodied work which is full of energy, suspense and action and laced with just the right amount of lower key moments that provide a welcome respite from the otherwise fast paced musicality. All in all this is an entertaining collection, and as I mentioned beforehand probably the best compact disc out of the three that Movie Score Media have issued. Recommended.

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