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Soundtrack Review

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Across the River
Music from the Lorenzo Bianchini Motion Picture


Composer: Stefano Sciascia
Label: Screamworks Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 20 May 2014

Screamworks Records release Stefano Sciascia's score for Across the River (Oltre il Guado). Co-written and directed by Lorenzo Bianchini, the film is a moody, meditative Italian horror film where one man’s quest for knowledge leads down a dark path of supernatural chills and scares. The story revolves around an ethologist working in the remote parts of a forest, trapping wild animals and mounting cameras on them. The recordings by the animals lead him to a remote village, the supposed site of mysterious hauntings by the spirits of two sisters. When he gets trapped due to the floods from unusually heavy rainfall, our protagonist realizes that the ancient curse he heard about is not to be taken lightly...

There's no argument that Stefano Sciascia's score for Across the River is chillingly haunting. Even listened to outside of the confines of the movie it will creep the hell out of you. And on that count alone, this is one of the most atmospheric and creepy scores you'll ever hear.

For me, though, sitting listening to track after track of eerie, creepy music isn't really something that I'd do for the fun of it. Maybe, as an album to put on in the background at a Halloween party this would go down a storm, but listened to for the fun of it just left me cold.

In addition, if you're already a fan of the composer, you might like to think twice before picking this up as in reality the majority of the tracks on this album are made up of pieces licensed from the composer’s previous albums. In fact all seven compositions from Sciascia’s concept album Lux ex Tenebris (2010) make there way onto this album. In addition two pieces come from the composer’s earlier album Mantra 22.22 (2004). In fact, there's only one track here that was specifically written for the movie.

So, it's a hard score to review fairly. As far as collecting together the perfect music for a horror movie, Sciascia has knocked the ball out of the park, but as a stand alone listening experience this is a little strange.


Darren Rea

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