December 21, 2006


If nothing else, the 2006 award for the best film title has to go to Frostbite. A Swedish vampire film is the last thing that this reviewer would think of from the title and it is being advertised as the very first one that Sweden has ever done! I could think of a holiday comedy, serious drama, but not a vampire film. And leave it to Mikael (executive producer and owner of Movie Score Media) once again to find a very nice soundtrack inserted into a film that is very likely to never be released to the multiplex theaters. The plot of vampires terrorizing a Swedish town is enough for me to move onto the next film. In fact when the download was sent to me my reaction was not another violin slashing, shrieking, synthesized score with wailing voices in the background. Yikes there is no way this review is ever going to get done! Yet my curiosity was enough to get me to download and listen to it and I am certainly glad that I did.

The first track “War” starts out with a slow steady ominous beat from the timpani, something which is a foretelling sign of the danger to come! It is followed by the main theme of the score, something which Lledo uses selectively so you will remember it after listening to the soundtrack. However, it is not over used to the point of being a monothematic work. While it is the major theme and the only one that I could recall three months from now and tell you the name of the movie, there are other themes and several good tracks. “Ukraine 1944” uses the strings in a simple two note statement answered by the timpani and then repeated again. This reflects the upcoming tension of the film in a simple but effective manner. In fact the overall use of the percussion in this score was extremely well used, sparse but very nicely placed. “Abandoned Cabin” shows the quiet serene side of Anthony with oboe solo and soft strings. “The Vampire” is a great track! He again uses the timpani effectively but along with it a harp glissando, a couple of piano notes, and the percussion which all builds it up to the tension of an abrupt frantic racing of the violins as the terror and action begin! This selective use of the harp, piano and other instruments is effective! There is just the one statement and then it is gone and something else might appear almost like a quick short sound effect but enough to get your attention.

The soundtrack itself is a scant 33 minutes and has 22 tracks which means that several of them are one minute or less. Yes it is written for the film but as a stand alone listening experience 40 second tracks are a bit more difficult to listen to. The minute you settle into something its gone with a short silent pause until the next track comes on. A minor annoyance that you just have to live with if you want to enjoy a young artists first major score. And this is a good score far superior to the standard template stuff from a horror film. No Anthony is still not in the same league as Rozsa yet. But he has flown past the likes of Dooley and Cmiral with their most recent horror scores (When A Stranger Calls and Pulse). This is the 15th release in the series and the fourth that I have reviewed for Movie Score Media. All have had their interesting moments and this one is no exception. While “Headspace” had some good sax/jazz work, “Land of the Blind” had great use of kazoos, “Dark” had some nice tone poem moments, this one made excellent use of percussion along with a great main theme. As is the case with all of his releases this one is also only available as a download on the Movie Score Media Shop. 320kbit is the standard, which is extremely high quality, very close to an original CD. For your information some of the itunes downloads are only 128kbit considerably lower in quality. In fact most people can detect an immediate difference between a CD and a 128kbit in a A+B comparision. Recommended.


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