Straight Into Darkness
Citadel Records (LEC 8001)
Release Date: 2006
|2.||The Solemnity of the Body||3:36|
|3.||The Wedding Party||4:50|
|4.||He Reaches Out to Her and She Reaches Out to Him||2:22|
|6.||The Mystery Sing||5:11|
|7.||Let the Cry Come||3:27|
|10.||The Conqueror Worm||3:46|
|11.||Sleep and Dream||4:15|
|12.||The Bidding of Vast Formless Things||3:39|
|13.||Traditional Plainchant (Bonus)||3:41|
|Total Album Time:||56:34|
|by Jonathan Jarry
on September 4th, 2006
I'm not sure what to make of Michael Convertino's Straight Into Darkness to be honest. I don't particularly hate it; I don't particularly like it. It is a strange experience because, even though the score is experimental and definitely non-traditional, I don't feel particularly challenged nor do I believe this is a polarizing score. It just is.
Convertino scores the story of two soldiers and their (in)sanities by using electronic sound design augmented by percussive and vocal motifs. The first track, "Crucible", opens with a complex but memorable percussive theme, an interlocking melody of consonant metallic pitches that returns a few times either partially or in whole. While it is interesting, its single phrase is reiterated measure after measure and no effort is made, either consciously or unconsciously, to build and vary upon it. The vocal aspect is present in the form of plainchant, but it is not what people would call (erroneously or not) "true" plainchant; rather, it mostly sounds like one singer, overdubbed and heavily reverberated to emulate the sound of plainchant. This technique did not bother me, especially given the apparent budget; the choral element was among the most satisfying in the score.
The rest is forgettable. I would recommend the album for those of you looking for an "easy listening" type of soundtrack were it not for the distortions in the recording which seem intended to emulate the soldiers' state of mind but which do not have the desired effect on album and actually detract from the experience. "The Wedding Party" suffers greatly from being heavily distorted and becomes very annoying, while the following cues ooze in and out, always making use of subtle aural designs that might please fans of electronic ambience but will otherwise irate fans of traditional melodies and harmonies. While the score might work wonders in the movie, it is strangely stale and inarticulate on album. I did not like it; I did not hate it. This is one of those scores that just sit there and are simply content to be.
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