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Every bit as epic as the movie
on 13 April 2007
If you are fan of huge epic movies, then you'll certainly appreciate the part that a decent musical score has to play in maintaining the epic vibe.
What Tyler Bates has done for Zack Snyder's eye-popping '300' is to take the production values of the movie (a tale of ancient Greek legend, performed by actors in period costume in a state-of-the-art, almost entirely CGI environment) and apply them to the score, thus providing an aural counterpart to Snyder's often staggeringly visual approach.
As a result, we get genre mainstays like massive choral chanting, plaintive solo vocalists and stirring orchestral anthems thrown into the mix with pounding computerised drum rhythms, shrieking feedback and the occasional burst of crunching industrial metal guitar riffing!
And somehow it works! The combination of old and new that we see onscreen is underlined all the more by the hybrid musical backdrop, elevating '300' to an entirely different experience on all levels. Opening track (and the film's closing theme) 'To Victory' perfectly sums up the intensity of what is to come over the course of 25 seperate pieces of music. There are a few more ambient, eerie pieces to break the mood but, overall, this is (like the film) an exercise in heads-down, teeth-grinding power.
That's not to say that it's flawless, already many accusations of (...) have been levelled at Bates, both from other composers and traditional music experts. Personally, i find it strange that many of the vocal solos sound more Arabic than Greek in influence, thereby playing more to the approaching Persian army than to the Spartans, but that's a minor niggle really.
If you enjoyed the film, chances are you'll enjoy the OST too. Simple as that.