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Soundtrack Review

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Army of the Dead
Music from the Netflix Film


Composer: Tom Holkenborg
Label: Milan Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 21 May 2021

Milan Records (Sony Music Soundtracks) releases music from the Netflix Original Film Army of the Dead, by producer, musician and composer Tom Holkenborg (aka Junkie XL). In Zack Snyder’s zombie heist film – a twist on John Carpenter’s Escape From New York – a former war hero infiltrates a segregated, zombie-infested LA in order to retrieve a significant stash of cash. Holkenborg’s previous work includes Zack Snyder’s Justice League, 300: Rise of an Empire, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Godzilla vs Kong. This score features the lead single 'Scott and Kate Part 2'...

We begin with a slowed-down, frankly superfluous and quite dull rendition of 'Viva Las Vegas', with Richard Cheese and Allison Crowe. 'Scott and Kate Part 1' is more like it, offering the listener a very atmospheric piece of plaintive introspection, with sound effects and haunting peripheral voices. 'Scott and Kate Part 2' is the single. It is another melancholy tune of huffed sounds, scuffs and warm keyboard which turns to piano-led dread, and finishing as it began. 'Scott and Kate Part 3' maintains the spooky but sad low tones, accompanied by slightly discordant keys against a backdrop of vinyl record scratches. 'Toten Hosen' is a little more tribal in feel, albeit through Electronica. This is the first time that we hear some threatening sounds, with rising rushing, a pagan drumbeat and a collective of ambient noises.

'Swimming Pool' utilises a clattering beat which is scratchy and very nightclub. It is short at only just over a minute long. Not Here is much more film score dramatic, with low base, horn representations and a host of electronic tricks. This at least has some energy; it’s as though a nest of angry hornets has suddenly been disturbed. The soundtrack finally wakes up with '3 Flares'. 'Battle Hallway Part 1' has a series of low rumbling vibrations like a jet fighter plane flying overhead. This is replaced by a much busier series of sounds reminiscent of a fight or chase scene. 'Battle Hallway Part 2' continues this first directional diversity of melody and sound effects. This one makes you sit up and take notice to a certain extent. It’s certainly different, and contains some intriguing Electronica.

'Zeus and Athena Part 1' and 'Part 2' begin with religious chants, surrounded by dark foreboding rings, rumbles and thumps. This is perhaps the most involved track. If this had kicked the score off I may have been more invested. However, the truth is this is a mediocre collection at best. It only warms-up halfway through, but then many of the same sounds are reused. It doesn’t inspire a gamut of emotions, only a flat, level feel.


Ty Power

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