Following in the footsteps of Marco Beltrami and Danny Elfman, composer Benjamin Wallfisch, is the Maestro assigned to providing HELLBOY with an appropriate soundtrack. Wallfisch, has certainly stepped up to the mark for this one, the composer has created a high octane and rock infused work in which he utilises pounding percussion and crashing electronics to fashion an energetic and powerful work. However, I personally am not certain if I actualy like the score, maybe it’s the rock style that is in the background of the work, but I think this is key to the central character. There are a few cues that do have some nice rousing action passages where Wallfisch evokes the style and sound created by both Beltrami and Elfman when they gave HELLBOY his musical persona. Wallfisch, does at times bring a lushness to the surface via the use of strings which are both opulent and melancholy. There are also some nice brass stabs present throughout which give the work an urgent and edgy sound as they punctuate the proceedings. And add a greater depth and atmosphere to blaring and rasping brass flourishes that growl and combine with driving strings to push the action forward at pace. So a serviceable and fairly standard score which will obviously please many soundtrack collectors but nothing to realy shout about.
I have always admired the music of composer Christopher Young, right from the first album I got of his which was HELLRAISER I just knew he would be a composer who was here to stay as it were. The composer earned his musical wings scoring several low budget movies such as PRANKS, and his fair share of films within the horror genre the HELLRAISER among them. It is probably true to say that it is music for horror films that the composer is most readily associated with and it is probably his horror scores that have garnered him so much attention amongst both fans and peers. But, saying that Young has also written as many scores that contain rich and lush sounding themes and romantically laced musical passages, he is a composer that easily can be referred to as being versatile and chameleon like penning music for motion pictures that include HAUNTED SUMMER, SOMETHING THE LORD MADE and CREATION. The composer soon progressed to bigger budget movies, scoring films such as SPIDERMAN, THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE and URBAN LEGEND. The composer’s most recent offering is from the re-boot of Stephen Kings chilling tale PET SEMATARY. Young has fashioned a score that is decidedly ominous and icy within the majority of its cues, but the composer also provides some lighter and melodic respite for the listener in a handful of tracks on the soundtrack and although this calm is short lived it is most welcomed amid the foreboding and tension. One cue in- particular, has to it a lilting and alluring persona, DEAD ALIVE AGAIN purveys a calming mood but also has an underlying atmosphere that is decidedly hesitant and malevolent.
This is an inventive score and one that makes effective use of both symphonic and synthetic sound’s, to fashion numerous colours and textures. Young also employs voices throughout, that add much to creating a sound that is uneasy. The score is overflowing with unnerving and sinister sounding phrases and nuances and is to be honest quite difficult to listen to because it is so dark and disconcerting. The edgy and apprehensive sounds that the composer employs electronically are harrowing at times oozing a real sense of menace. UN-HALLOWED EVEN is another example of the composer fashioning a haunting thematic core and lacing and embellishing this with a secondary sound that is unworldly. Dark, disturbing and deeply affecting and not in a nice way, this I think will be looked upon as a classic sounding score for the horror genre. Young closes his score with WASN’T THE BEGINNING? Which is introduced by strings that usher in a piano solo that picks out a calming three note motif that becomes a seven-note theme, the composer adding to this via underlying strings, that perform a subdued counter melody that is rich and romantically infused. One for your collection. Recommended.