Wrath of Man (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
I enjoyed the movie – I always feel like I should point that out, and acknowledge when reviewing a soundtrack whether I’ve actually seen the film or not. In fact I was viscerally charged by this score while watching the movie. I was convinced that I was listening to something by Hildur Guðnadóttir – her scores for Joker and also Chernobyl were brilliant as accompaniment to those moving images but also playable (and profound) in and of themselves. Same goes for her collaboration with Jóhann Jóhannsson on the score for Mary Magdalene.
So this helped put me in mind to enjoy the film – and I resisted checking my phone to find out who scored it until after. Turns out it was Chris Benstead, which I should really have guessed, since he’s also a cello player (like Guðnadóttir) and he’s become Guy Ritchie’s go-to man for movie scores. Working on the last three – and presumably in for the upcoming new one.
He builds moods in a way similar to not only Guðnadóttir – but also Thomas Holkenborg (aka Junkie XL). And if you don’t remember his dance music days you will have heard some of Holkenborg’s brilliant action-movie work (most notably, I reckon, the Mad Max reboot).
So, this is also to say that Bernstead’s work is probably slightly less listener-friendly away from the films (when compared again with Guðnadóttir) but, as with Junkie XL’s work it’s there if you want it, and if you’re a movie-score fan you might dig right into it.
I did. And still am. Ominous cues that are so brilliantly produced – really nice orchestral moments (Staples Center) and dark rumbles of mood (Dangerous Job) where cello and percussion are the dominant instruments.
There are some really beautiful moments where you can feel the action even without the film (Bullet Executions) and also ratcheting tension (Come Out Little Piggy) around the opening theme (Coffee Frother/Wrath of Man).
So, look, this absolutely won’t be for everyone but I’m captivated by it. Its often very uneasy listening. And I like it a lot for that.