Film scores

Soundtrack review: Risen (Roque Banos – 2016)

I am thankful to be able to listen to the creations of such a composer. To quote the final cue from “Risen”: “I’ll never be the same” after hearing this score.

“Risen”, also known as Resurrection, is an upcoming American epic historical drama film directed by Kevin Reynolds and written by Reynolds, Paul Aiello and Karen Janszen. The film stars Joseph Fiennes, Tom Felton, Peter Firth, and Cliff Curtis. Nice to see Draco Malfoy again. The movie follows the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer. Clavius, a powerful Roman Military Tribune, and his aide Lucius are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem. The score is written by Roque Banos and I couldn’t be happier with the choice.

Right from the first cue this score invites me to climb on its back and join it on a wonderful journey. How can I refuse climbing between the wings of this dragon when the music makes me trust it from the first seconds? I welcome this sound as if it was my oldest and most trusted friend. Music is all about feeling, dreaming and imagination to me and when a score gives me these feelings right from the start I know I have a winner. Don’t imagine this flight as a very agitated one… the composer know how to subtly remind us that the story at hand is a special one and uses the quiet vocalizations and ambient Oriental strings to make me feel as if I’m back 2000 years ago in Jerusalem. The lack of musical surprises in this album is compensated by the magnificent quality of the music itself.

I love how the music Roque Banos wrote acts like a veil and not a blanket. It’s not heavy and it doesn’t impose anything. You can still see through it and shape it around you own thoughts and feelings. I like getting lost in this lovely musical mist because there is something guiding me. I like the feeling of warm and gentle rain I get from the music. “Risen” goes deep and flows as natural and as believable as someone’s train of thought would. When the music gets loud it rises naturally from the comfort zone and I feel my heart beating faster.

Cues like “The sea of Galilee” and “Let’s fish” are as beautiful as Roque Banos has ever written. I listen to them and I feel I’m in the presence of magic. This is more than music to me; this is nourishment for the soul and I want to keep cues like this close to my heart forever. Consider yourselves warned and don’t be surprised if towards the end of this score you will discover your eyes have gotten misty. And if they didn’t, “The ascension” will finish the job. Open your hearts and receive this wonderful gift of film music.

With every new score Roque Banos expands the boundaries of his already impressive musical realm. From hair rising horror to epic adventure to divine, there is no genre he couldn’t turn into gold. I am thankful to be able to listen to the creations of such a composer. To quote the final cue from “Risen”: “I’ll never be the same” after hearing this score.

Cue rating: 96 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 50 / 62

Album excellence: 81%

Highlights:

The Battle

It’s Finished

Capturing Mary Magdalene

He Is Everywhere

Finding The Apostles

He Is Alive

Escaping From The Romans

The Sea Of Galilee

Let’s Fish

Healing The Leper

The Ascension

Farewell

I’ll Never Be The Same

 

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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