Marco Beltrami is a composer I have followed since the Scream movies and have interviewed him and gone to a couple of his sessions when he was recording in London. I think the attraction of his music is that he writes in what I think is a very operatic way, his scores are often sweeping and grandiose, even when he is scoring a movie that does not have a mega budget, he created themes and driving scores that not only supported the movie but went beyond that and gave it an even greater depth and stature. He has been busy in recent months scoring Fear Street,Nine Perfect Strangers, and A Quiet Place ll amongst other things. The latest release in cinemas to have a score by Beltrami is Venom-Let There be Carnage. I must admit to not liking the first Venom score by Ludwig Gorensson, (where is he lately?) but I did’nt like the movie either, so approached this musical installment with much trepidation. The score for Venom 2 (will call it that its easier), is a mix of dramatic symphonic and electronic stabs and layers that are fused with a more rock orientated style, it sounds rather chaotic but when listening to the score it really works.
There are the trademark sounds of Beltrami included with his grand and driving strings that are supported by percussive elements which are themselves bolstered and given more urgency by rasping and menacing brass. And I think menacing is a good way to describe much of the composer’s score. There is an apprehensive and turbulent aura to the work,
Beltrami does fashion thematic material amongst this but for the most part the music is action led, I would not say its atonal as there are interludes that are effective and deliver real moments of melody even if this is somewhat subdued and overshadowed by a more dramatic style. I also noticed that the composer seems to have re-introduced a style which he employed in some of his early scores such as The Faculty and the Scream movies, combining slicing and spiteful sounding strings with percussion and consolidating this with a fierce brass punctuation. I listened through three times, and I recommend that you do this too, as on the initial listen you may like I did think it was another up-beat rock infused affair. Recommended available on digital platforms now, CD coming soon, and the LP will be released in January 2022, which probably wont, do its sales any good.
What’s out, What’s New, What Label, and will I like it?
Well the avalanche of soundtrack releases continues and I have decided to include a kind of supplement to soundtrack supplement if you like, where we tell you what label is doing what and details of where you can buy these if you wish to do so.Here are a selection of labels and sites.
This is probably the fourth or fifth time I have reviewed or mentioned the score for Femmine Insaziabili by Bruno Nicolai, and recently also mentioned it in soundtrack supplement fifty-one just last week, this time however I am not examining the merits of the score itself because lets face we all know how good it is, this latest release is from the Spanish label Quartet who have been incredibly industrious over the last decade or so releasing a wide range of soundtracks from all over the globe. But after the rather disappointing sound on Roma Come Chicago, I wanted to take a close listen to this latest release from them.
I have to say the CD looks attractive enough, with colourful art-work and a picture of the original Ariete LP art work inside to use as alternative cover art for the CD. But I was just curious what extra music had been unearthed and more importantly how did it sound. The second disc which contains the film versions of the tracks I think is my favourite because there are a handful of cues included that are new to me and I thank Quartet for this, but overall I am a believer in the less is more saying when it comes to expanded soundtracks, and although its nice to have the new cues I think that I would have been able to live without this release.
The sound is not bad at all for a 1969 soundtrack from Italy as we all know the sound on some of the releases during this period was questionable, there are a few little bits of distortion but nothing I think spoils the listening experience, but I am bias as this has always been a favourite of mine and one of the better scores from Nicolai, disc two does suffer from the distortion mostly, with some cues suffering from like a chatter when they reach a certain pitch or Edda hits the high notes, then there is a dullness attached to some of the cues, I know I am fussy but if its been remastered surely it should be almost like new? But I suppose it depends upon the condition of the masters themselves? Any way there is distortion, but it is still an iconic score by Nicolai and I hope that if you have not already got the soundtrack in your collection you will be investing in a copy of this.
I personally have the original Ariete LP which I purchased from Michael Jones in 1970 at the arts theatre club aand the re-issue on easy tempo plus the easy tempo CD and now this latest edition, which means I must be an Insatiable collector of Femmine Insaziabili. Nice presentation with lots of stills and informative notes that are easy to read by Gergely Hubai.
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