To say that composer Mark Korven is inventive, innovative, and pioneering is such an understatement. I loved his score for VVitch and am in awe of his work for the latest Amazon original TV series Them. One can never say that this composer writes themes so that fans or collectors can listen to them away from the project that they are composed for, he writes to serve the picture solely and foremost, and his work within the horror genre is outstanding and highly original.
Them contains a score that in one word is Harrowing, the composer making brilliant use of voices, to further unbalance the watching audiences and punctuate, enhance, and support the visuals. His use of percussive elements too is striking and imaginative. This tense and unsettling soundtrack is a treat for true horror fans as they will understand fully that the composer is creating an even greater atmosphere for an already unnerving series. This is a truly remarkable work, modern sounding, at times guttural and for most of the time dark to the point of engulfing any listener. The orchestrations and performances are wonderfully shadowy and resoundingly affecting. It is a driving work at times, vibrant and electrifying as in it never holds back and always delivers that unexpecting twist and shock. A great score, worth a listen, but not alone.
Another score that must be heard is The Unholy by Joseph Bishara, this unbelievably talented actor, filmmaker and composer once again creates a score that sends a succession of shudders through one’s body, this is a tour de force of the scary and frightening. The music never relenting in its job to underline what is occurring on screen and at the same time sending panic and distress to the audience before anything has happened, Bishara is a master at creating music and sounds that are like a pre-cursor to the horror or the violence, As any film music fan that decides to listen away from the movie will tell you. Like his scores for movies such as The Conjuring and Insidious it never allows the audience any respite, and at times Bishara’s music and soundscapes are in fact more terrifying than what is happening in the story on screen.
The Unholy however does have a kind of celestial sounding side to it, with the composer employing voices to great effect, which do create a false sense of security for any audience or listener, but this is good, as he is doing his job and fashioning a score that not only supports but becomes a part of the story. If you are a connoisseur of horror score’s then this and Mark Korven’s Them is right up your dark, foggy, sinister alley. May I recommend that you listen to Them, then The Reckoning by Christopher Drake followed by The Unholy, a great trio of music from modern day horrors and its nowhere near Halloween yet. .