Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2012 October 08 • Monday

James Horner's score for Wolfen is the 238th Soundtrack of the Week.

I've seen this movie at least twice and I like it. I flipped through the book one time at the now closed Skyline Books and got the impressiong that the movie might actually be better than the novel. (That doesn't happen often.)

The "Main Title" has moments that recall Horner's brilliant Star Trek film scores as well as pockets of tense, aggravated music and even a brief, lushly orchestrated atmosphere

Almost serene repeating figures start out "Van Der Veer's Demise" but give away to aggravated, confrontational music punctuated by sounds of suspense or pursuit.

"In the Church" begins in much the same way as "Van Der Veer's Demise", but with the strings establishing a foundation of unease. This mood continues and becomes more spacious, using an echo device in a way that recalls the music for the Friday the 13th movies.

A menacing, low pulse suggests "Wolfen Run to Church", which is followed by the violent "Whittington's Death". The latter contains a hunting-call horn flourish that reminded me immediately of a certain Khan.

"Shape Shifting" seems to be modeled on traditional Native American music for it's first part, then returns to the ideas and moods already established by Horner.

Tender solo piano introduces us to"Jessica's Apartment". Strings and flute come in for a brief romantic interlude before the return of a more violent musical atmosphere.

Droning strings and lyrical flutes set the mood for the beginning of "Indian Bar", which remains relatively restrained and richly textured throughout its seven-minutes.

"Wall Street and the Wolves" opens with synthesizer or some other electronic instrument before returning to the hunting theme heard a few times previously.

"The Final Confrontation" uses many "clustering out" strings, my current most-hard soundtrack cliche. I don't think it was so overused around the time of Wolfen, though.

A valedictory tone is taken for "Epilogue and End Credits", a long cue that includes several grand, sweeping orchestral passages.

Intrada's CD includes a couple of bonus tracks, the first being the original version of "Rebecca's Apartment", which included a trumpet part. The original version of "Epilogue and End Credits" concludes the program.