RESIDENT EVIL: APOCALYPSE
Music composed by Jeff Danna, conducted by Nicholas Dodd 
Label: Varèse Sarabande
Catalog:
302 066 616 2
Year: 2004
Tracks:

1. My name is Alice
2. Alice Battles the Nemesis
3. The Nemesis / S.T.A.R.S.
4. Panic at the Gate
5. Umbrella is Watching
6. Ashford's Plan
7. Cain's Demise
8. The Nemesis is Awakened
9. Zombies in Church
10. Captured by Umbrella
11. The Crash Site
12. Dogs in the Kitchen
13. Searching for Alice
14. The Anti-Virus
15. Beneath the City
16. The Last Transport
17. Search the School
18. I Remember Everything

Total Time: 39:46
Rating:


Reviewed by
Jorge Saldanha

 

Jeff Danna, younger brother of fellow composer Mychael Danna, is a versatile and resourceful professional. He began his career scoring for television programs such as Beverly Hills, 90210, and is best known for somber or gentle scores for films like "O", Uncorked and Green Dragon. For The Gospel of John, Danna painstakingly researched ancient instruments from the time of Jesus to create an authentic score as well as incorporating full orchestra and choir. Now Resident Evil: Apocalypse, the second film based on the famous Capcom's Survival Horror video game series, marks the composer's first effort in a Sci-Fi / horror adventure.

The first film featured a noisy Marco Beltrami/Marilyn Manson score that missed part of the mood and ambience from the game soundtracks. For this sequel the filmmakers decided to hire Danna to move the movie franchise's music towards new directions, and even unfamiliar with the games or this genre of films, the composer decided to face the challenge. After some research about horror movies and the Resident Evil game series, his approach was to interlace classic symphonic orchestration (which means bringing a large orchestra to the process) with electronic instrumentation. Danna composed about 90 minutes of music for the film, and this soundtrack CD retains about 40 minutes of the score. The music was recorded at George Martin's Air Studios London with the 75-piece London Philharmonia, the same group Danna and his orchestrator, Nicholas Dodd, had used for their previous score, The Gospel of John.

Danna's score starts out very ethereally and mysteriously with "My Name is Alice", but quickly launches into a dynamic drive, riveted with guitars and electronic instrumentation. In its essence Resident Evil: Apocalypse is a very expansive score, having a very dominant orchestral sweep while, at the same time, carrying on this pulsing, heavy-metallic drive from the electronics and the electric guitars. In general terms the score shares a little in common with the game music in its driving, action pulse. But while there are a few recurring themes, the score is more of an ambient, textural composition, centering around the usage of electronically samples acoustic sounds that Danna uses to create the film's sound design. The Nemesis is one of the few exceptions, as for his theme Danna employed a kind of bizarre, electronic sound that goes with the creature.

To my mind, it is unfortunate that the score suffers from this lack of more traditional thematic material (by the way: I'm a big theme-guy). And yes, the score, like its predecessor, also has some noisy moments to compensate this lack of themes or motifs, but at these parts the orchestra displays some impressive action material, performed by jumpy strings and harsh brass tones ("Alice Battles the Nemesis", "Cain's Demise", "Dogs in the Kitchen"). On the other hand, there is some sentimentality and sadness in tracks like "The Crash Site" and "Searching for Alice". Well, that's it. If Resident Evil: Apocalipse can't be considered Danna's best work, surely it represents a promising introduction of the composer to this genre.

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