Film scores

Soundtrack review: The drift (James Griffiths – 2014)

drift

 

“The drift” is a low budget sci-fi horror film. I hadn’t heard of it and I wouldn’t have if Jorn Tillnes from www.soundtrackgeek.com hadn’t recommended me James Griffiths’ score. I tracked it down and boy was I in for a treat…

Sci-fi is the genre where there are no limits. Imagination can run free and there are no restraints. I love it when a composer embraces this lack of rules and just goes with it. I am giddy like a kid who got a new toy when I’m listening to this score. It’s such a fresh and exciting composition to enjoy…It sounds like a trailer music album with a story. It’s got the same power, the same adrenaline rush and the same epic sound only with longer and more melodic themes.

Every now and then I need to hear a score like this one. I need to hear music that I can just enjoy without thinking and analyzing it too much. This is simply great film music. There’s nothing else to say about it. There’s no down time, no drop in quality. “The drift” keeps me engaged and invested in it for the entire hour and when it’s over I feel like I wanted more.

James Griffiths wrote a couple of seven minutes long cues for this score (“Rock, paper, scissors” and “Finale/lightwave”) which show just how powerful the composition is. They are both miniature versions of “The drift” and I’d like to keep them in my pocket for when I need a rush of adrenaline and motivation.

The score is not only about that though. The horror mood shrieks at you from all directions and you feel like a flock of alien mutated giant bats are coming at you in “Inhabitants”. I haven’t seen the movie so there’s a good chance there aren’t any giant bats in it but I swear I heard them all around me before I turned on the lights.

Still if i were to pick my favorite piece from this score, it would be “Helpless massacre”. It starts with an atmosphere which reminds me of “Alien”, suspenseful and full of anticipation before plunging into horror music greatness. What a thrilling  and amazing cue this is…It just cuts you into pieces with its strings before setting fire to whatever is left. Oh but it’s not over because this is one of those schizophrenic compositions which reserves surprise after surprise and there’s time for the most beautiful piano and string motif at the end of “Helpless massacre”. Listen to this track and you will need to listen to the entire score.

“The drift” might be the best Sci-fi horror score I’ve heard since Brian Tyler’s “Alien vs Predator”. I’ll be keeping my ears opened for James Griffiths. Now I’ll go listen to this one again. And again. Until the beautiful and atmospheric “Closing credits”.

Cue rating: 90 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 37 / 59

Album excellence: 63%

Highlights:

Opening Sequence “Darkwave”

Helpless Massacre

The Approach Suite

You Can Still Be Saved

Inhabitants

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Finale “Lightwave”

End Credits

About the author

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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