Composer Mark McKenzie for me has always written some beautiful thematic and emotive music. He is a composer who always steps up to the mark and brings much to any project he works on via his truly captivating style of composition. His latest work is DRAGON HEART, BATTLE FOR THE HEART FIRE. This is a score that is predominantly electronic or shall we say synthesised, with a handful of conventional instruments being included throughout the work. The movie is one that will go straight to Blu Ray, and will not as far as I am aware receive a release in theatres. This does not mean that the movie is not worthy of such a release, and the score certainly is not in any way inferior to anything that has been written for any number of so called blockbusters in the past two to three years.

The score is to be released on, Universal Studio’s Back Lot Music label and should be available on June 9th, 2017, although it is already available on Spotify. This is the fourth instalment of the DRAGONHEART series, and Patrick Stewart is voicing the star of the show DRAGO for this tale. This will be the third movie within the series that composer McKenzie has worked on, the original movie in the franchise being scored by Randy Edelman. The score that McKenzie has penned is a highly emotive one, the composer incorporating a wide range of musical colours, textures and styles, we are treated to some wonderfully uplifting and at times anthem like pieces that give the listener goose-bumps at times. This is a soundtrack that incorporates, Celtic flavoured compositions alongside dark and menacing sounds, plus passionate and vibrant compositions that are filled with romance and tinged with melancholy. The work displays perfectly the versatility of this talented but alas at times ignored composer. I love the way in which the composer employs solo cello giving the score real heart and soul, adding a touch of sadness to the proceedings.



He also makes use of Randy Edelman’s original and now iconic DRAGONHEART theme at certain points within the score and gives this a fresh and regal sound that is rich and sumptuous. This is a powerful score, a commanding and fearsome sounding work, which I am confident will not disappoint and fan of film music. Although this is for the most part a synthesised work, one just gets enveloped by the driving forces behind the music and the numerous musical colours that the composer puts into the mix. Highly recommended.



The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor



Randy Edelman for me has always been a composer of note, ok he has normally been involved with films that are of a lighter storyline, ie- MY COUSIN VINNY and KINDERGARTEN COP, but I remember hearing GETTYSBURG for the first time and being blown away by the way in which he was able to get such an epic sound out of synthesisers. His score for COME SEE THE PARADISE also impressed me, with its simple but effective and poignant  theme. This  offering from the composer is obviously, given the films subject matter a large scale score, and Edelman does effectively pull out all of the stops creating a powerful and booming soundtrack, but saying this he also gives to us some marvellously lyrical melodies, showing us just how versatile he is, cello is utilised within the score a number of times and its sorrowful almost sombre rich sound is welcome every time it raises its head. Overall the score has the sound of both Goldsmith and Silvestri present within it, surging strings, rasping brass, ominous sounding choir and tumultuous percussion all combining to create a grandiose and exciting sound. I am not telling untruths when I say that every track on this CD is a delight, there is certainly something here to keep every collector happy. The action cues are relentless, the love themes are sumptuous and even the minor cues are more than worthy. One of my favourite cues is track number 7 THE READING OF THE SCROLLS, the composer treats us to a slow and somewhat subdued beginning, which suddenly erupts into a full blown action cue, this however is short lived and Edelman returns us to relative calm utilising strings and solo female voice, that lead into a richly mysterious sounding composition. The sounds created here by Edelman are threatening, poignant and magical. Track 9 ALEX AND LIN is also a cue that I would highlight as being one of the scores brighter moments if that is at all possible as every track is excellent, another thing about this score is that Edelman does infuse a sound that is oriental, but he never goes over the top which makes these compositions more credible in a way. So for collectors who dismissed Edelman or thought of him as a B list composer in the past, should now I think reconsider their opinion. This is an entertaining score, that rivals Goldsmiths original Mummy score, and equals Silvestri’s work on the second instalment. Worth a listen…