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Soundtrack review: Fuego (Aritz Villodas – 2015)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Fuego (Aritz Villodas – 2015)


“Fuego” (Fire) is the story of Carlos, a police officer. One day, someone puts a bomb in his car, killing his wife and leaving his ten year old without legs. Eleven years later, he lives in Barcelona with his daughter. Despite his apparent change he never forgot the past, the hatred and the suffering of that accident. He is consumed by his plans for revenge. I am happy to hear this score because the Spanish school of composers is one of my favorites. It’s time for me to get familiar with composer Aritz Villodas.

It’s clear right from the start that the composer goes all in with this score. Sure he could have used the generic “dark revenge thriller sound” that we hear quite often these days, but to my joy Villodas took the orchestral approach and used the cello and piano to express the volcano that’s building up inside the main character’s heart. The music is rewarding me with its every note. Every rolling of the piano and every wailing of the strings touch me and make me feel them.

The entire range of emotions is present here… there are moments so tense that I can feel my head exploding. “Flashback” is as intense and consuming as your darkest one would be… I can feel the pain, the anger, the trembling of the lips, the clenching of the fists and the composer makes me feel this with so few instruments… The use of the word “feel” so often is not a mistake; this is what “Fuego” is all about! Even if I am drawn more to the dramatic moments there are wonderful piano breaks that show a little hope and light. They are welcomed and make the darker moments feel even more poignant.

I dearly recommend this one. It’s a rare gem in today’s film music and Aritz Villodas is on my composers to get excited about list. This is a score to be listened to carefully and not if you are in a sad mood… if you’ve just been through some kind of loss this score might just push you over the edge. But if you haven’t, embrace this wonderful example of why film music is so great. Just listen to how many emotions can be communicated without words… but with a cello… just feel your heart tremble and be moved… just feel the fire! This has been one of the most powerful and visceral scores of the year.

For more info and if you want this score…. http://kronosrecords.com/K63.html

Cue rating: 93 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 32 / 43

Album excellence: 75%


Into The Hell




The Fire Inside Me

Marina And Carlos


Fire Grows

Alba’s Sorrow

Mother And Son


I Am Not Alvaro

Let Him Live


End credits

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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