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Soundtrack Review

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Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Rob Simonsen
Label: KeepMoving Records
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Release Date: 06 April 2015

KeepMoving Records releases Rob Simonsen's first full length movie score, for 2003's Westender. The film tells the adventures of the titular knight Asbrey of Westender who had fallen from grace and become a mere shadow of his former self. In one moment of drunken stupor, Asbrey gambles and loses his ring, a trinket of great importance that represents his past and his future. When the knight wakes up the next morning, he tracks down his wrongdoer, a court jester who lost all his belongings to a gang of brigands. Despite facing an enemy that would have been fatal for him even in his glory days, Westender gains all his remaining power and courage for one last raid with the court jester in tow...

When you consider that this is Rob Simonsen's (who also played the role of the court jester in the film) first full-length feature score, it's not hard to see why he's been carving out a solid career for himself in movies and TV ever since.

Westender contains 21 tracks (1 hr, 11 min, 15 sec) and there are some pretty memorable themes woven throughout. There were a number of themes that reminded me of other composers' work, but I was surprised to hear one theme here that brought to mind a segment of music from that would be written four years later for Harry Gregson-Williams and Stephen Barton's 2007 score for the PC and console game Call of Duty 4.

It could be just a coincidence, or Gregson-Williams/Barton could have been huge fans of the movie and had soaked up the score without realising it. 'On The Road' and 'Resurrection' have a segment that is very similar to a theme in Call of Duty 4's campaign's final cut sequence.

In addition 'Angels Will Meet Her' brought to mind Danny Elfman's track 'Death!' from the score for Edward Scissorhands, whilst 'Swift Vengeance' could easily be mistaken for any one of John Barry's James Bond movie scores. Arguably the most memorable, and beautiful tracks are 'The Frozen Knight' and 'A New Way'.

This is an impressive score, which is even more notable as it's Simonsen's first real stab at it and he manages to accomplish a score that's bursting with memorable themes.


Darren Rea

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