GODZILLA is back! Bigger and maybe even better and meaner than before if that is at all possible; one thing is certain the musical score by Alexandre Desplat is without a doubt bigger, louder, and certainly more inventive and savage sounding than before. Which is something of a surprise considering the recent scoring assignments that have been undertaken by the French Maestro. Desplat has of course written for adventure/epic movies in the past, GOLDEN COMPASS and HARRY POTTER for example, but we normally associate this gifted composer with more subtle and fragile sounding works or scores that contain elaborate and lush thematic properties, which go hand in hand with the images from more refined and art infused motion pictures that he has worked on. There are themes within GODZILLA but for the most part the music is action led and I suppose one could say atonal as there are no real melodies within these action pieces, there are however lulls in between the high octane material that make for a pleasant respite and are quite haunting and romantic. Desplat’s music contains a moody and somewhat dark and apprehensive aura, with darker and richly fearsome sounding undertones that are created superbly by macabre sounding piano, rasping brass flourishes and driving strings which are embellished further by the use of percussion and urgent sounding brass stabs which at times are bolstered by effective use of choir.
The compact disc opens with GODZILLA, this is a vibrant and slightly disconcerting mix of brass and strings with percussive elements creating a fearful and ominous atmosphere that is further enhanced and given life by imaginative and compelling use of violin and shrill brass sounds which punctuate the proceedings giving it an almost malevolent tone laying down the foundation for the remainder of Desplat’s aggressive and unrelenting soundtrack. The percussion plays a big part within the score, in fact it is present in 99 percent of sequences, driving and carrying the other instruments along on a tidal wave of thundering awesomeness adding a fraught tension to the proceedings and also creating a feeling of anxiety and strength, add to this the composers imaginative use of angry sounding brass, with French horns, tuba, trumpet’s and trombones combining in an explosive and anxious cacophony of sound that is in many ways reminiscent of composer Elliot Goldenthal utilization of the brass section within his score for movie INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE, add to this mix strident and striking strings that sweep along parting the way for the remainder of the orchestral colours and textures that Desplat employs, with the added support of electric violin and Shakuhachi this is a volatile and strangely attractive. I was reminded at certain points of Clifton Parkers classic score for NIGHT OF THE DEMON, Desplat,s music creating the same kind of atmosphere and mood as the Parker compositions. It oozes malevolence in places, the composer creating music that is frantic, fearsome and foreboding. There have been a number of reviews that makes comparisons between this latest GODZILLA score and also the music that was penned by David Arnold a few years back and although Arnold did produce a score that worked well within the movie and had the added bonus of being entertaining for us soundtrack collectors away from the movie, I have to say that Desplat has created a soundtrack that is shall we say more convincing in the terror department. This is a score that you will enjoy more within the context of being film music, by this I mean by seeing the movie and seeing how the music works marvellously with the images, as a stand alone collection themes, well its excellent stuff but not really something that you would put on to sit and listen to with a nice glass of wine etc, having said that I still would say to you go out and get it, recommended.