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Soundtrack review: Beyond skyline (Nathan Whitehead – 2017)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Beyond skyline (Nathan Whitehead – 2017)

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“Beyond Skyline” is an 2017 American science fiction action thriller film directed by Liam O’Donnell and stars Frank Grillo, Bojana Novakovic, Iko Uwais, Callan Mulvey, Yayan Ruhian, Betty Gabriel and Antonio Fargas. It is the direct sequel to the 2010’s Skyline. The plot reads that A tough-as-nails detective embarks on a relentless pursuit to free his son from a nightmarish alien warship. Nathan Whitehead wrote the score.

I know Nathan Whitehead from his “Purge” scores and with that franchise he created a dark electronic sound, often uncomfortable, sometimes melodic, that worked very well. Very soon I discover the same construction in this score as well, as the opening cue “All of us” comes with the pulsating pace and the next insert “One punch?” goes for the warm emotion. This is a sci-fi thriller so the score needs to tell me that; the composer makes sure “The lights”, the first long cue of the album, starts slowly and mysteriously, with sharp sounds before building up into almost trailer music level epic and this right here is the kind of cue I need from my Sci-fi thriller scores: bold, epic, explosive and also melodic. This trailer music like sound returns quite often in the more spectacular moments of the score and make the album exciting and enjoyable even as a standalone listen.

I also like the quieter moments that create a mood of tension reminiscent of the iconic “Alien” movies; “Other back pocket, slick” is a cue that sends me right back to almost 40 years of space terror. It’s a familiar place and this gets me closer to the story. The balance between ambient moments and gnawing action pieces like “Save her” make me just want to watch the movie as soon as this score is over because I’m sure I’ll love it. I am just having a hell of a standalone listening experience from “Beyond skyline”, gripping and exciting. I am a big Sci-fi fan and there is a certain, special mood that works best in these movies and gives me a combination of nostalgia and excitement; Nathan Whitehead creates this specific atmosphere that never fails for me.

With proper action, terror, suspense and some emotional ambient moments “Beyond Skyline” not only gives me everything I could wish for from a Sci-fi score but also makes me exciting for the movie because I am sure the images will match the value of the score. It’s not often that I find a score like this with no filler moments and that gives me surprise and excitement almost at every corner. You will definitely get your aline thriller fix from this one.

Cue rating: 88 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 28 / 57

Album excellence: 49%

Highlights:
One Punch?
The Lights
Move!
Other Back Pocket, Slick
Save Her
Mud Fight
That’s a Classic
The Catacombs
They’re In
I’m Going After That Cannon
Trent
Rose
You Bitches Ain’t Leaving Me

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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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