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Soundtrack Review

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Gods of Egypt
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Marco Beltrami
Label: Varèse Sarabande
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 25 March 2016

Varèse Sarabande release Marco Beltrami's score for Gods of Egypt. The action-adventure based movie is inspired by the classic mythology of Egypt, the survival of mankind hangs in the balance as an unexpected mortal hero Bek undertakes a thrilling journey to save the world and rescue his true love. In order to succeed, he must enlist the help of the powerful god Horus in an unlikely alliance against Set, the merciless god of darkness, who has usurped Egypt’s throne, plunging the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict. As their breathtaking battle against Set and his henchmen takes them into the afterlife and across the heavens, both god and mortal must pass tests of courage and sacrifice if they hope to prevail in the epic final confrontation...

Before you even play Marco Beltrami's score for Gods of Egypt you'll pretty much have an idea of what to expect. It's a sci-fi movie based on Egyptian mythology... so the first thing that might pop into your head is Stargate (1994). And, yes, David Arnold's score for that movie appears to be the inspiration here. In fact, so similar was it in essence, I began to wonder if the director and editor had used Arnold's music as a temp track for rough cuts of the film and then asked Beltrami to create something similar.

From the opening track 'Gods of Egypt Prologue' to the closing track, there are so many Stargate-esque cues that, for me, it started to become a little distracting. I defy anyone to listen to 'Coronation' and not think of Stargate. Then there's the cliched "slave music" which can be heard in tracks like the opening of both 'Market Chase' and 'Coronation', as well as running throughout 'Straight Out of Egypt'.

To be fair, it's a little like how American films must have a music 'Rule Britannia' cue if a scene is set in London; all ancient egyptian themed movies seem to insist on incorporating this bold, large sound - also notable in Jerry Goldsmith's The Mummy (1999) score. There's also a sprinkling of Alex North's score for Cleopatra (1961) running through the soundtrack.

The album contains 26 tracks (1 hr, 14 min, 19 sec) and while I might sound like I've been picking it apart, I actually really enjoyed this score. Original it isn't, but then it's a score that is instantly accessible. You won't have to listen to it a dozen times to feel comfortable with it. Almost from the first play through you'll find numerous themes that you'll enjoy.

It's big, bold and has plenty of character. This is certainly a score I'd recommend.


Darren Rea

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