Released in January 2016, DIABLO is a western/physiological thriller which stars Scott Eastwood(yes he is related) as Jackson a veteran of the civil war. His character awakes one morning to find that his wife has been kidnapped by a bunch of cutthroats, of course Jackson goes in pursuit his aim to rescue his spouse and bring her back home. Along the way he encounters many unsavoury characters all of whom seem to want to put a bullet or two in him. As the story progress’s it becomes more and more difficult to differentiate between the good guys and the not so good to the extent that at times the watching audience begin to doubt if the central character is actually one or the other or neither. The musical score is the work of composer Timothy Williams who has already worked on a number of movies as a composer but more predominately as an orchestrator and additional music composer. Working on projects such as GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, CONAN THE BARBARIAN, 300, SUCKER PUNCH and WATCHMAN Williams is certainly no stranger to the scoring stage. For DIABLO the composer has created a powerful and hard hitting score, which at times does have influences and sounds that are straight out of the Spaghetti western genre, Williams makes effective use of choir which is mainly male voices that shout in a similar fashion to the barking choir on Morricone’s FISTFUL OF DOLLARS and FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE, he also utilises whistling which again creates a style and ambience that is straight out of the western scores of such Italian greats as Bruno Nicolai, Ennio Morricone, Francesco De Masi, Nico Fidenco and their like. The opening track on the compact disc sets the scene perfectly, BLOODLINE is an impressive title song performed by vocalist Zella Day who delivers a killer rendition of her lyrics over an even more impressive musical score which has at its core a percussive backing which is embellished by the inclusion of high soaring trumpet solos, whistling and jangling electric guitar riffs which are all held together by strings and choral support, all of these elements are woven together seamlessly by Williams and hit the spot straight away. Track number two COLORADO TERRITORY opens with a solo whistle which after a short time is joined by a poignant but apprehensive sounding violin or fiddle and is unbeknown to us the listener the calm before the musical storm. Track three ALEXANDRA KIDNAPPED although fairly short lived is a return to the more traditional scoring style of the western with a dramatic and forthright opening from the string and brass sections establishing that something dramatic and disturbing has happened, the cue then seems to tail off into something that is a little more settled but at the same time is atonal with no real thematic base, the music conjuring up an atmosphere of uncertainty and loss.
There are a number of the more quieter moments with Williams score, but at times these low key interludes suddenly burst into a full on action cue, with rasping brass and thundering percussion being driven along and carried at pace by strings. AMBUSH AT THE RIVER for example and CARTERS DEATH. Track number GALLOP is one of my favourite cues on the score, the composer bringing together a near upbeat percussive backing and fusing it with driving and rising strings that act as support for brass that growls. Overall this is an enjoyable listening experience and although Williams has employed what I call the ITALIAN WESTERN SOUND at certain points within the score, the composer has also created numerous original and innovative sounding passages, which are highly exhilarating, poignant and contain their fair share of emotion and melancholy. I am sure that you will enjoy this soundtrack. Released on Milan records.