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Soundtrack Review

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The 25th Reich (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)


Composer: Ricky Edwards
Label: MovieScore Media
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 30 July 2013

A homage to the classic war and science fiction B-movies of the 1940s and 50s, The 25th Reich tells the story of Hitler’s secret weapon - a spaceship fleet. Providing a lot of energy and charm to the story is the old-fashioned score by Ricky Edwards, an Australian composer whose other credits include orchestrating the scores for The Bank Job, Baz Luhrmann’s Australia and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole...

Ricky Edwards's score for The 25th Reich doesn't so much pay homage to the music of John Williams, as blatantly take it hostage. Usually that's not a bad thing, as there are plenty of composers out there that reference the great man's work, but Edward's score is so in your face, and apparent on almost every track, that it proves to be a bit of a distraction. It's almost a game in its own right: "Guess which Williams's score Edwards is referencing here!"

This album was peppered with so many John Williams-esque segments, I started to wonder whether the director/editor of the movie used William's work as a temp track and then forced Edwards into a locked recording studio and refused to let him out until he got as close to the original material as possible.

This is even carried down to the subtle cues. There's a segment in 'Breaking the Time Machine' that is almost a note for note; instrument by instrument; reworking of a cue in Raiders of the Lost Ark.

The album opens with 'The 25th Reich March' which I doubt will fool anyone in the fact that it's a huge rip-off of 'The Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme)' from The Empire Strikes Back. And when I say "rip-off" I mean just that. This is no homage... this is changing the original theme to be just different enough as to avoid legal issues.

'Opening' includes a segment that sounds like a reworking of Raiders' ('Ark Trek' if you're as anal as me and want to check for yourself). 'Breaking the Time Machine' also has a number of Raiders references. In fact Raiders seems to be the main inspiration here, with the music from the original Star Wars trilogy coming a close second. And look out for the 'Mars' moments (from Gustav Holst's The Planets suite) on 'Attack of the 25th Reich'. 'Mars' was the original inspiration for Williams's opening attack scene in Star Wars and Edwards manages to reference both here.

While I usually love to hear Williams-esque references in other composers work, I felt that it was a little too obvious and too constant to allow Edwards music to stand on its own two feet.


Darren Rea

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