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Soundtrack review: Fury (Steven Price, 2014)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Fury (Steven Price, 2014)

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I was impressed last year with Steven Price’s “Gravity” score. He did everything right there, and even got an Academy Award for it. “Fury” is a completely different film, a Word War II epic about an underdog mission behind enemy lines. It stars Brad Pitt and I will surely watch it when it comes out. I was very curious what Steven Price could do with this subject. He said that “for a film accurately portraying mechanized warfare, the score needed to be primal and guttural. We used armory and weaponry as instruments to give a sense of a constant grinding forward whilst the orchestra carried the emotion”, and it’s clear from the beginning how well it worked.
The score starts very bold. After I heard the first cue I had to stop and just take a moment to recover. “April 1945” is an imposing, chanting cue with an implacable army marching feel to it. It blew me away. If the rest of the score is like this, bring it!
Emotion starts showing up scarce, but poignant. A lonely cello, a violin, they appear as sudden as rain drops falling on a barren field. Other times, we get female vocal inserts: few, short, but they work unbelievably well, like echoes, or memories that come and haunt someone from nowhere. Cues like “Airfight” and “Still in this fight” play on our emotions. Many war movie scores play on our emotions by being orchestral, dramatic, and melodic. It’s not the case here, and it’s brilliant. Here we get the action part of war: machineries moving, grinding, passing over everything and never stopping. It’s as if this score was written from the point of view of the guns. 
“Fury” is a heavy and dense score. Chant like choirs are present in almost every cue, and the score is interrupted by a sigh every now and then (cues like the gorgeous “Emma” for example), but other than that it keeps rolling and crushing.  Just listen to “Tiger Battle”. The score is unforgiving and the mood rarely changes. To me, it’s like a modern “Terminator”. It’s what that memorable score should sound like today, and I love it. Steven Price took what worked so well in “Gravity” and managed to make it right in “Fury” as well. It’s brilliant. This score is like “Gravity” on steroids and after months of intense boot camp training.  He took the rhythm, the metallic sound, and the electrocution inserts and transplanted them into a war movie score. I can’t wait to see this movie after I heard this score. I already feel invested in it.
I love a great ending to a score; it’s one of my pleasures. And “Fury” delivers just that. “Norman” is my favorite track from this album. It builds up and it loses the metallic feel, providing the score with a proper orchestral ending. It’s becoming a habit for Steven Price scores to shine at the end (the best theme from “Gravity” was also the last one). “Fury” is definitely one of the best scores of the year for me, and I will revisit it soon enough. Steven Price is becoming one of the most exciting composers out there.
My ratings:
Cue rating: 84 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 50 / 67
Album excellence: 74%
Cues to listen to:
The War Is Not Over
Fury Drives Into Camp
Refugees
The Beetfield
Airfight
The Town Square
The Apartment
Emma
Tiger Battle
On The Lookout
Still In This Fight
I’m Scared Too
Wardaddy
Norman
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Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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