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The Damned (Frederik Wiedmann)

August 15, 2014

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

cover_thedamnedTHE DAMNED

Frederik Wiedmann, 2014, Lakeshore Records
20 tracks, 46:03

What is it? “The Damned” tells the story of American widower David Reynolds (Peter Facinelli), who flies to Bogota with his new fiancée (Sophia Myles) to retrieve his rebellious teenage daughter Jill (Nathalia Ramos). En route to the city of Medellin, a car accident leaves them stranded in a run-down isolated inn. When they discover the old innkeeper has locked a young girl in the basement, they are determined to set her free. In saving the young girl, they ultimately unleash an ancient evil that’s been waiting to wreak havoc on all that cross its path.

What does it sound like?I hope this soundtrack will keep you on the edge of your seat!” says the Stuttgart-born composer. He uses processed voices (usually played backwards) to create an eerie atmosphere; and uses South American instruments to evoke a sense of location. There are plenty of stingers to make you jump, alongside screeching strings and scary synth pads to give you the heebie-jeebies. Is it really all that scary? Away from the film, no. It’s pretty standard, straight-forward stuff really. Wiedmann presents at least two key themes. The first is introduced in “The Secret” and is effectively a 5-note motif. Though brief, it has some lyrical qualities. The “Main Title” showcases a more forceful melody that is made up of a series of 3-note motifs. Both themes recur several times throughout the score; as does a more action-orientated third one (based on blocks of 4 notes). Aside from the earlier noted instrumentation, the score relies heavily on strings (sometimes electronically processed), with glissandi (and other string effects) often providing a nice touch. The score also features plenty of interesting percussion.

Is it any good? It sounds like it would be perfectly adequate within the film. On album I can appreciate the effort that Wiedmann has put it into his score, but it’s not something I would return to very often. For me it’s actually the backwards-played voices and the excessively reverberated stingers that ‘cheapen’ the music a little. That said, it is great that Frederik Wiedmann has been able to incorporate multiple themes into his score, giving this horror-score some welcome warmth and depth.

Rating [2/5]

Review by Pete Simons, (c) Synchrotones


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