Howard Shore “A History of Violence”

Album Reviews | Oct 30th, 2005

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Record Label: New Line Records
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Howard Shore is back with a new score and another collaboration with director David Cronenberg. They have been working together on & off for over 20 years and that’s pretty impressive. Some of the films they have worked together on are: The Fly, Crash, Scanners, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch, and eXistenZ. A History of Violence does have similar motifs that sound similar to the Lord of the Rings but stills sounds different, if that makes any sense. I don’t think I ever make any sense in my reviews but let’s continue shall we…

I had the pleasure of seeing the movie in theaters last month and liked it a lot. Viggo Mortensen is becoming one of my favorite actors. The film wasn’t what I expected and had some twists in there but I did enjoy myself. The score does fit the movie, but when you listen to the CD on it’s own, you can’t help but think of The Lord of the Rings a little. That might be Shore’s downfall to all his future projects, everyone will be comparing his music to that trilogy. I guess that’s what happens when you work on a huge movie like that and win a bunch of awards from it. But he does manage to make a score that contains some of his signature sounds but branch out a little and make something dark. The score is dark and has a lots of moments of anxiety or dread, which portions of the tracks sort of sound like the themes to Mordor and the Urak Hai from LOTR. There is a lighter side to the score as well, and it goes along in the movie. I’m not sure which score I like better in the post-LOTR era for Shore, The Aviator or this score. The Aviator had more of a fun, nostalgic 50’s sound to it; whereas this score sounds creepy, dark but pleasant. I guess you can’t really compare the two. If you saw the movie, and the score stood out to you; go out and buy the soundtrack. I’m sure Howard Shore & film score fans have already got this CD though.

Bottom Line: Howard Shore keeps pumping out fantastic scores!
Notable Tracks: Tom, Run, The Staircase, The Return
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