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Seal Team 8 (Mark Kilian)

August 15, 2014

Synchrotones’ Microtones Review… all of the opinion, less of the words.

cover_sealteam8SEAL TEAM 8

Mark Kilian, 2014, Lakeshore Records
22 tracks, 59:03

What is it? On an unsanctioned mission in Africa, a covert team of U.S. Navy SEALs is sent to locate a secret mining operation and prevent the sale of uranium to international terrorists. The stakes are higher than ever (and so is the body count) as Seal Team Eight must fight their way through the treacherous Congo in order to secure the uranium, expose the unknown buyer, and diffuse one of the greatest threats the world has ever known.

What does it sound like? I knew I wanted to explore the world of dubstep for the testosterone element,” says South African-born composer Mark Kilian. “I also wanted to keep it feeling African and heartfelt without it sounding cheesy or like an afterthought. The majority of my focus was trying to blend those two worlds so they sounded like part of the same story. I wrote some vocal tunes and had two wonderful vocalists singing them for me, which really added a lot to the authenticity we were looking for.” And so the album kicks off with electric guitars, break-beats and plenty of granular synth sounds. If you like that kinda thing, you’re in for a treat. It makes the dub-step in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” seem like a walk in the park. You may remember from that review that this isn’t really my proverbial cup of tea. It’s not at all without merit though. Some of the electronic stuff is pretty cool when it moves away from that nervous hyperactivity that comes with dub-step. The African influence on the score is excellent. The ney and duduk take centre-stage alongside infectious chanting and percussion. “Almost Dead In Africa” is a fantastic track. And in a cue like “The Man That We Just Lost”, soulful vocals and strings come together to create a truly poignant atmosphere.

Is it any good? “Seal Team 8” is a score of two halves. The dub-step elements are just too hyperactive for me. The synth geek in me does enjoy some of the electronics (when it isn’t being spoiled by dub-step). The African vocals and instrumentation are superb and provide this score with a heart and soul.

Rating [2,5/5]

Review by Pete Simons, (c) Synchrotones

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