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Soundtrack review: 12 monkeys (Trevor Rabin and Paul Linford – 2015)


Soundtrack review: 12 monkeys (Trevor Rabin and Paul Linford – 2015)


“12 monkeys” was my favorite movie for a long time. It still is somewhere in the top because of the smart and interesting brand of Sci-fi, the great script and the memorable performances from Bruce Willis, Madeline Stowe and especially Brad Pitt. I still see this as one of his best roles ever. Now the story made its way to TV and I can’t wait to binge watch the show. Such a premise opens a world of possibilities. Very nice to see Trevor Rabin contributing to the score, I always get excited about his action music. The other composer is Paul Linford. It would be nice to get a glimpse of the awesome movie theme in here but I know it’s far-fetched.

The score opens with the 12 monkeys’ suite titled “I am the clock”. And if they will respect the meaning of a suite it means I am in for a gorgeous score. There are frantic stabs of action, epic inserts which made me think of disaster movies and also a pace that promises nothing but good things. The music is nimble and you can’t help but follow it. I am sold. I think I can already identify a theme but we’ll see later. “I am the clock” made me feel as if I was beginning a very exciting story. Just as the time travelers from the story are looking for traces of a virus through time so I will search for traces of my favorite motifs from the suite.

To my surprise, something that wasn’t there comes and almost obliterates what I had heard before. “Katarina (Jones’ theme)” just dissolves whatever reality was around me and leaves me drifting into an eternal space with the emotion of the cello. I felt as if the ground beneath my feet just disappeared at the first impact with this cue.

I get a strange sensation from listening to this score. The music seems to be slipping by me very past. It doesn’t stay in one place and somehow I have a sensation similar to travelling very fast through scenes I shouldn’t be able to. There is a sense of urgency that doesn’t let me slip from the grasps of the score. The music has very little patience but it’s a good thing. There’s a lot of electronic pulses, trademark Trevor Rabin and sometimes I get that 90s action vibe I often long for. I like this sound, there’s something addictive and inviting about it. With and with the smart and atmospheric emotional moments like “Time is cruel” or “Art of war” the score the score really hits all the marks.

I rarely get such a strong reaction from a score just because of the way it’s constructed. It’s not the separate cues that make this one great, rather the overall feel and flow of the music. This is one of those albums I will listen to again in its entirety. It would be a shame to separate it into little pieces. I can’t wait to listen to it in context.

Cue rating: 90 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 35 / 52

Album excellence: 56%


I Am The Clock (12 Monkeys Suite)

Katarina (Jones’s Theme)

The Monkeys On The Wall

Time Is Cruel

Railly Meets Jones

Art Of War

It Was The Keys

Goodbye Cole

Everyone Will Die


Scav Attack

The Cycle Is Complete




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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