Soundtrack Review: Stake Land

stakelandcdStake Land
Release in 2011, by Screamworks Records
26 Tracks with total running time of 48 min.
Music Composed by Jeff Grace.

To say this score is epic sounding is really an understatement. It starts off with a bang, and then proceeds to hit all the different notes. No pun intended. The film is about a post-apocalyptic world and this score gives us just that feeling. We get those feelings of being alone… down… desperate. We see a world where there just might not be any hope left, and Grace’s score accompanies that feeling perfectly.  There are some action based themes or sequences in here, but mainly it is a slow and moody score, filled with wonderfully dark and brooding strings, often giving it a slight western feel to it.

There are action pieces in the score which work quite well in the film, and give the listener that same sense of excitement. But the overall score has a strange sense of sadness in the music throughout. Very somber. And yet, there are moments in here where with a few notes, Grace shows us a glimmer of hope. That shows how much of an emotional score this can be. The strings and piano used in the track Belle and the New Family or New Eden are perfect examples of that.

Ever since I heard this score, I’ve been checking out a lot of Grace’s work and have never been let down. An incredible talent that I look forward to with each and every film he’s worked on.

Book Review: Scored to Death

Scored to DeathScored to Death: Conversations with some of Horror’s Greatest Composers
Published by Silman-James Press, 2016. 356 pages.
By J. Blake Fichera

There is something to be said about film scores, something that I think most don’t know, don’t recognize, or even worse, don’t even think about. And that is the effect they have on the viewer. Sometimes a very powerful effect. The first time I can remember a film score having an effect on me was John Williams’ score for Jaws (1975), which I’m sure I wasn’t the only one. While it did bring up the tension and scare factor, I don’t think I made the full connection between the music and emotion it caused. That changed when Star Wars (1977) came out. Then it hit me how powerful of an impact a score can make. Star Wars was the first soundtrack I every purchased and I listened to it over and over. Each time, I could visualize the different parts of the film in my head and it would give me the same emotional reaction as if I was watching the film. It was at that point, I started to become more aware of a film score.

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Soundtrack Review: Trigger Man / The Roost

triggermanTrigger Man / The Roost
Released by Moviescore Media

21 Tracks with a total running time of 43 min.
Composed by Jeff Grace

Strange how a soundtrack could make you go back and revisit a film that you had turned off the first time you attempted to watch it because it was terrible. That is what happened with me and Ti West’s Trigger Man. I got through the first ten minutes and couldn’t go any further. Sometime later, I had picked up Grace’s score for Stakeland and was really impressed with it. So I started to look up some of this other scores and came across this CD that had both Trigger Man and The Roost on it for a pretty cheap price, so I figured what the hell.

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