Composer of the month The expendables month

Soundtrack review: Armageddon (Trevor Rabin – 1997)

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The journey of this score is just as rewarding as that of the movie

I am a big fan of disaster movies, and “Armageddon” is up there with my favorites. It is one of the movies I’ve watched a lot of times. Bruce Willis is great in it, Ben Affleck as well and there’s a supporting cast with Steve Buscemi, Billy Bob Thornton and a lot more. There’s action, there’s craziness, there’s emotion, and all the Michael Bay haters can keep on hating. I loved this movie. This review is part of “The expendables month”

Trevor Rabin wrote the score, and since this is 90s action stuff, I expect a lot of epic guitar riffs and some electronic inserts. The “Armageddon suite” which opens the score is very satisfying. The guitar and the anthem like instrumentation inspire me and I am ready for the rest of the score. My emotional connection with the movie comes to play from the first notes of “Harry and Grace make peace”. This is an epic and emotional cue and I instantly remember all the feelings I got watching this movie. The music strikes the right chord inside me and I am invested in this score, I am living it and I am replaying the movie scenes in my head. Since I saw the movie so many times most of the cues from “Armageddon” are as familiar to me as those scenes and I realize that I’ve listened to this score a lot of times already.

Even without the nostalgia factor, a cue like “Launch” would be on my favorites list. An epic and emotional buildup cue cannot miss. Trevor Rabin chose a wonderful melodic line as Armageddon’s identity and you hear it at its most beautiful in “Short straw”.

The journey of this score is just as rewarding as that of the movie. Once I start listening to it I feel the need to see the movie, or to listen to the score once more; this will never be a simple one time listen. Every guitar chord, every soft choir in the background and every buildup are worthy of the larger than life nature of the movie, and “Armageddon” is a 50 minute long American anthem that makes me want to stand up with the hand on my heart.

Cue rating: 91 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 39 / 50

Album excellence: 82%

 

Highlights:

Armageddon Suite

Harry & Grace Make Peace

AJ’s Return

Leaving

Evacuation

Launch

5 Words

Finding Grace

Short Straw

Armageddon Piano

Long Distance Goodbye/Landing

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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