I had heard of Daniel Pemberton as a composer to keep an eye on. I recalled his name from recently working with some of the great English directors – Ridley Scott (The Counselor), Danny Boyle (Steve Jobs) and Guy Ritchie (The Man From UNCLE). So when this soundtrack lept out at me as being top notch it didn’t surprise me to see his name on it.
Pemberton excels at combining modern elements and styles with the more traditional concepts of movie scoring. The end result is a great blend of orchestral and standard composition. Since this is an action movie there is the standard “pumped-up” feel to much of the fare on the CD but equally present are passages filled with dark forboding and more contemplative moods.
While there is a slight “medieval” tone to some of the music, there is also a tint of folk song to be found. Pemberton uses ganged acoustic guitars in a skiffle-like effect, producing rhythm and percussion. Speaking of percussion, where Pemberton earns his crown in this epic soundscape is with his use of drums. They are recorded and mixed so perfectly, alternately dominating the music, then just adding playful touches. I am almost equally as impressed by Pemberton’s production as I am his scoring. I won’t comment on the quality of the film itself (that belongs on another blog) but I will say Pemberton’s talent extends beyond just plain composing as he has perfectly captured the look, feel and tone of each scene.
I wanted to be sure to add that the CD comes with a download code for 6 extra tracks making the musical score complete. While I appreciate WarnerBrothers providing these the cost of adding a second disc would have been negligible, preventing the material from being spread across two formats in varying quality.