Film scores

Soundtrack review: Gods of Egypt (Marco Beltrami – 2016)

As far as adventure scores go, this one hits all the marks.

“Gods of Egypt” is an upcoming American fantasy film featuring ancient Egyptian deities. The film is directed by Alex Proyas and features an ensemble cast starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Brenton Thwaites, Chadwick Boseman, Elodie Yung, Courtney Eaton, Rufus Sewell, Gerard Butler, and Geoffrey Rush. Butler plays the god of darkness Set who takes over the Egyptian empire, and Thwaites plays the mortal hero Bek who partners with the god Horus, played by Coster-Waldau, to save the world and rescue his love. The score was written by Marco Beltrami, one of the most exciting composers of our age. And when a musical chameleon and wizard like him says “The magnitude of this score is beyond anything I have ever done before” the curiosity and expectations are doubled. So with my standard set in mind to Alan Silvestri’s “Mummy” score, here we go.

The prologue is fairy tale like and serves and the vehicle which transports me in the time when the story takes place. This melodic portal throws me in a dusty world in a whirlwind of ethnic instruments. I missed this sound, this kind of percussion and horns and this specific choral work that makes me think of the ancient Egypt. The music is easy to listen to and I connect with it instantly. Something about the first few cues of this score feels very natural. Usually an epic score like this might feel intrusive but it’s not the case here. The music moves at the exact pace I need it to move in order to follow it comfortably and enjoy every twist, turn and surprise.

Then it gets louder. Then it gets stronger. Then Marco Beltrami shifts gears and just lets the epic fly. I can’t really tell one cue from the next but I don’t care, they are all cracking. The music is powerful and melodic in the same time. The music tells me a story and I feel as if I’m reading a great book and creating my own images for it. This score makes me feel as if I was a young boy again reading Jules Verne’s adventure stories, perceiving them as grandiose and not wanting to leave that fantasy world.

As far as adventure scores go, this one hits all the marks. I can hardly highlights specific cues because they don’t very much and they’re all exciting. “Gods of Egypt” will make an impression and it’ one of the early favorites of 2016. It’s fun and spectacular and, something I seem to find myself saying at the end of almost every Beltrami score, different than everything he’s done until now.

Cue rating: 92 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 47 / 74

Album excellence: 63%

Highlights:

Gods Of Egypt Prologue

Market Chase

Coronation

All Quiet On Set

Set vs. Horus

Bek Steals The Eye

Red Army

Wings And A Prayer

Snakes On A Plain

Channeling Zaya

Return Of The Mistress Of The West

Elevator Music

Obelisk Fight Part 1

Obelisk Fight Part 2

God Of The Impossible

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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