Composer Clinton Shorter created a highly dark and tense musical score for DISTRICT 9, it did however also contain a number of moments that were breathtakingly beautiful. I was enthralled by his use of female vocals within the work and straight away marked him as a composer of great talent, amazing versatility and one who has an abundance of originality. One of his latest assignments is POMPEII, the title suggests that we are in for a musical treat because of the magnitude and daunting significance of the events that took place at POMPEII and in this case events that led to it and also surrounded the catastrophic occurrence. Clinton Shorter has fashioned a vibrant and powerful score to accompany the movie, it is like the erupting volcano itself, unyielding, relentless, potent, commanding and fearsome but at the same time contains an attraction that is hard to ignore or get away from because it has a beauty to it that resonates an air of emotive purity. This is for the most part a driving and dominant score that is fueled by booming percussion and highly charged brass that rasp and growl as they are supported and carried along on a tide of strident and forthright strings which not only punctuate but enhance and augment the proceedings. But then we are treated to the more melodic and romantically slanted material that the composer brings forth via strings and choir plus the use of solo female voice that is stunning, haunting and resounding. The compact disc opens with the title track POMPEII, this opens with rather downbeat and faraway sounding horns that have an air of melancholy about them, underlined by subdued strings and at first a feint choral presence, the composer introduces percussive elements to underline a more forthright choral performance of the excellent central theme from the score, the latin chants of the choir are given a more determined and energetic sound when strings are added to the mix to create an impressive and imposing piece that sets the scene wonderfully for the remainder of the score. Track number two, SLAUGHTER, is a far more subdued and emotive composition, the composer introducing the cue with low strings that are accompanied by rumbling percussion, a female solo voice performance slips into the piece and is embellished by strings momentary use of choir and further percussive elements, which when all combined create a tense and apprehensive sound, solo voice is brought back into the equation but this time it is not as emotive in fact it is more of a sombre sound that is achieved. Track number three, HOME, is again subdued at the outset, but soon builds into a triumphant sounding theme that is filled with splendour that is purveyed by the horn section that is supported ably by jubilant percussion and anthem like strings and choir. The central theme for the score is heard throughout the work, it binds the remainder of the score together and is arranged and given various permutations to keep it fresh and effective.
A more relaxed variation of the theme is heard in track number four, STREETS OF POMPEII, where the composer gives it a lighter and slightly more upbeat work out. For me personally one of the stand out cues is CELTIC REBELLION, it is an unstoppable and powerful compositions that has no low or poignant musical interludes, it is non stop sweeping action led and riveting, but saying this although it is an action driven piece the composer still evokes the central theme and gives us variants of it throughout the track, keeping it melodic and thematic so it is not only unrelenting and fearsome it is entertaining. The remainder of the score is in a word amazing, it is a soundtrack that all collectors of film music should own, highly recommended.