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Soundtrack review: Scorpion King – Book of souls (Frederik Wiedmann – 2018)

Film scores

Soundtrack review: Scorpion King – Book of souls (Frederik Wiedmann – 2018)

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“The Scorpion King” teams up with a female warrior named Tala, who is the sister of The Nubian King. Together they search for a legendary relic known as The Book of Souls, which will allow them to put an end to an evil warlord. I see this franchise is still in full swing, living its life outside the world of “The mummy”. This would be the fifth movie in the franchise and I remember I enjoyed the precedent score written by Geoff Zanelli. Now, it’s Frederik Wiedmann with the music.

My expectations when it comes to a score like this are simple: I need to be entertained. I want to hear Oriental inserts to place the story in the desert, I need the choral and vocal work that evokes mystery and mystique and some epic action to top it all. I expect all these things because this is what works for me in a “Scorpion King” score. Frederik Wiedmann is no stranger to epic superhero music since he is basically the lord of the DC animated universe so he knew very well how to tackle this particular composition. In its initial stages the music makes me think more of franchise games as it’s both spacious and immersive. I could see myself exploring that world on music like this. No sooner than the second cue Nebserek all these elements come together. A seductive oriental melody opens the next cue “Invaders” and I am satisfied with the album right from the start.

Actually I am getting more from this score than I expected; it’s not just good ancient Egypt action and mystery music, there’s heart in this composition and even without themes I am finding cues to highlight and remember, like “The ritual” for the action part and “The warrior princess” for the fairy tale sound. I am listening to a musical story and I am not sure the movie even would be as enjoyable to me as the score is. The composition is both dense and melodic and it creates images in my mind on its own. It’s a pleasant standalone listen and in its middle part it reminds me of the atmosphere Joseph LoDuca created for the “Spartacus” TVs how, the right balance between action and emotion with the ever present Middle Eastern inserts. During a cue like “The quest” I feel motivated and I might actually try this one for my running playlists, as I would the climatic final few cues which are blockbuster material. This was what I wanted to hear.

“The Scorpion King – Book of souls” is the kind of score that counts as time well spent once it’s over; a solid addition to the franchise (I could even say it’s my favorite from the SK bunch) and to the genre; Freddie Wiedmann shows the other side of his craft after going the ambient way for his documentary score “Snow to sand” which comes out relatively in the same time. Give this one a listen.

Cue rating: 87 / 100

Highlights:
The Ritual
The Warrior Princess
The Quest
Opening the Gate
Few Against Many
A King Reborn
Fire

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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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