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Soundtrack review: Thor – the dark world (Brian Tyler, 2013)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Thor – the dark world (Brian Tyler, 2013)


While preparing my marathon playlist, I realized that I haven’t reviewed the score for “Thor- the dark world” yet. It’s a terrible oversight from my part considering what I feel for this score. Sure, I’ve talked about teenage mutant…. But Brian Tyler’s reinvention as an action music god passes through the perfect score for him, Thor.
There are very few scores that raise my adrenaline level as much as this one. When I first heard the Dark World theme, I wondered if, except his hammer, Thor could also throw his own music theme from Asgaard. The cue exploded with a force I had rarely felt before from a piece of music. It is the perfect theme for the strongest of Gods, and I have no idea how Brian Tyler pulled it off. He just captured in a couple of minutes the essence of how a hero like Thor should sound and feel, he separated him from any other character and made that orchestra sound completely possessed.
For me, Brian Tyler could have stopped right there, that’s how brilliant that theme is. I’m glad he didn’t, because the rest of the score is a ride I will never forget. The rhythm of the album doesn’t go down for one second, it just keeps pounding and pounding with thunders and bolts of lightning and strings and percussion and at the end of it I’m exhausted, because no matter what I might be doing, when I hear this score I grab my kit and run as fast as I can, for as long as this plays. Just as Brian Tyler and Thor himself, I don’t stop until the hammer falls.
The legacy of this score cannot be measured just now, only a year after it came out. I am sure though that unless Brian Tyler actually is a god, there will be many years before he or someone else will be able to come up with an action score better than this one. It hits all the right spots and it still amazes me, the more I listen to it. It gets better and more exciting with every listen, and I feel an incredible joy and gratitude to be able to hear such a magnificent and epic composition.  
…and if this is what he wrote for Thor, can you imagine what a feast we’ll be having next year, when he’ll join all the Avengers…? Will we be able to take it? Are our hearts and ears strong enough? We’re going to need a lot of training…because Brian Tyler never stops. And I thank him for that.
My ratings:
Cue rating: 86 / 100
Total minutes of excellence: 65 / 77
Album excellence: 85%
Cues to listen to:  
Thor: The Dark World
Battle of Vanaheim
The Trial of Loki
Into Eternity
Escaping the Realm
A Universe from Nothing
Thor, Son of Odin
Shadows of Loki
Sword and Council
Invasion of Asgard
Journey to Asgard
Battle Between Worlds
As the Hammer Falls
Marvel Studios Fanfare
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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