Perseverance Records (PRD 013)
Release Date: 2006
Average Rating: 5 stars (1 user)
|1.||All About Faith||2:35|
|3.||Thomas and Simon||3:04|
|4.||Questions of Doubt||0:52|
|5.||Out the Window||1:25|
|6.||Stealing the Soul||1:23|
|7.||Medallion / Going Home||1:38|
|11.||Mary and Simon||1:14|
|12.||Part of the Plan||2:03|
|13.||Transfer of the Soul||2:55|
|20.||No Giving In||1:18|
|26.||Up in Flames||2:11|
|Total Album Time:||61:27|
|by Jonathan Jarry
September 24, 2006
Quite possibly the worst way to approach a project like The Prophecy would be to throw three different choirs into the mix and have the music reach at times heavenly, at times apocalyptic highs. Especially when one isn't given the kind of money usually reserved for major studio pictures. David Williams' The Prophecy does use vocal elements, but he integrates them into a gritty, mid-90s urban soundscape in such a way as to make them part of the tapestry instead of having them jump out at you.
The biggest surprise The Prophecy reserved for me was its quality. The name David Williams had been associated in my mind with a cult favorite of mine, Shakma, for a number of years. Shakma is the kind of movie about a raging baboon on a killing spree in the middle of a cheesy Dungeons & Dragons game that is so bad it's good. The same could be said of Williams' score, which makes superb use of lame synthesizers that wrap the laughable movie in an aura of low-budget science gone mad. While the synthesized elements are still present in The Prophecy, Williams is working on a different scale here, crafting a distinct ambient sound signature punctuated by highly reverberated vocal and choral samples in a style that is not unlike Mark Snow's.
The atmosphere is firmly set in the mid-90s, with refined pulsating and throbbing synths and an overly reverberated drum machine that was left over from the 80s. The strings are called upon in a subset of cues, such as in "Confession", where the harmonic progressions they go through, while not wholly original, are effective, especially when layered with a boy soprano singing or a female choir elating. "Part of the Plan" is another such track, based on the same theme, which bathes the listener in a minimalist pastoral feeling. It is also one of the few cues making use of the piano, which articulates a careful melody. One of the big surprises, however, comes in the very first cue, "All About Faith", which precedes the darkness and the gloom with a sequence of spiritual chords for the violins and a far away boy soprano gently vocalizing. The most memorable theme on the album is then introduced with a driving percussive line, recalling traditional African music, and a pan flute and choir combo. While it does have a slight new age vibe, it is a step above and has a certain mending power.
The Prophecy was an unexpected addition to my collection and it should please fans of the film series and score aficionados looking for brooding sound design and choral elements. It is a solid entry in the mid-90s genre of urban biblical warfare (maybe one of the only such entries) and thankfully makes one forget about the throbbing synths that once accompanied a giant red baboon ass shaking left and right.
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