A friend of mine, one of the biggest horror music fans I know, sent me this and, with all the wave of horror scores out there right now, I was in the mood to hear something different. This is not the score for a film (yet), it’s just a one (passionate) man editing job from someone with a vivid imagination and a deep knowledge of horror music film, who actually met Hans Zimmer. It shows you what can be done if something truly inspires you.
“Symphony No 8: There will be only death” is a reflection on mortality and anguish. It’s made of 5 movements and one Coda. The first movement really is my kind of horror: gothic, ample, larger than life and wide as a dark cathedral. I often prefer this sound and mood to the stabbing, claustrophobic horror. This track is a journey in itself, because before the track ends, the music cunningly drives you out of that cathedral and boxes you into a cellar full of rats and bats.
The second movement comes at you and chases you with trailer music intensity. This track is more beautiful than scary. It’s epic and has an unbeatable stride. If it were on a horror movie score, I would imagine it as the climax and healing. I close my eyes when I listen to this and imagine epic, Lord of the rings size battles between good and evil.
The third movement is the longest. It runs for almost 23 minutes, but it’s not as exciting as the first two. It just growls instead of screaming, and it kind of loses its focus at some point. It has chants in it, incantations and a lot of suspense. This suite probably plays the doubts of the author, the tribulations and the sensation of all thoughts running in circles and eventually returning in the same spot. This is what this movement tells me. It sounds disturbing and challenging.
Movement 4 is where this score gets even smarter and more complex than your usual horror score. This is more than that, it moves into epic territory. I get a Harry Potter adventure vibe and I love it. The fourth movement is more melodic than the others and a very sweeping mix. It’s 17 minutes long but that only makes it work better as a true adventure suite.
The fifth and final movement continues on the adventure track. It seems that the light wins and the darkness and frights are kept at bay. For me this movement sounds like a wonderful and exciting nod to John Williams. This one is probably the most beautiful track from the entire symphony. At 8 minutes, it’s just the right length to communicate everything it needs to.
“Symphony No 8: There will be only death” ends with the “Coda”, the epilogue. You thought the light won? Well, think again… a wave of darkness comes storming in and covers everything. There’s no time to react and fight this. This final track morphs into the powerful end credits I imagine, with the sound of broken carnival piano keys.
This symphony ends up as a very pleasant listen. It’s very long, but that doesn’t count as a disadvantage, because it fills this time with interesting and complex sounds. It’s a journey through a troubled psyche and a confession of what the author learned on this journey. It is a collection of the author’s favorite motifs blended together in a cohesive mix that flows perfectly. I really enjoyed it.