Daybreakers

Christopher Gordon

 
" Just like the blood becomes a rarity in the film, we should cherish a rare cd release of composer Christopher Gordon "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

Daybreakers was one of the more anticipated movies of 2010. It centres around a world, ten years from now, that is mostly inhabited by vampires. The few remaining humans are either hunted down, or stored as blood supply, as the shortage of blood may very well mean the downfall of the vampire race. One vampire must find a solution to prevent that, but that vampire is also the one the few humans are hunting for.

A reason why this movie was so anticipated by the score community, was because a certain Christopher Gordon was providing the musical score. Gordon, beloved ever since On the Beach and Moby Dick's epic score is definitely one of the brighter composers of his generation. And considering he already did vampire tales in Salem's Lot, he looked like the right man on the right place.

Now, while this may seem enticing enough, Daybreakers isn't for everyone. It is moody, cold and creepy, and this occasionally keeps the album from gaining any sympathy. But Daybreakers and a tale such as this doesn't rely on sympathy, it relies on effective and powerful music. In that category I can honestly say that Christopher Gordon has delivered an impressive orchestral score, one that will get the job done in the picture itself.

For me, horror still must be spelled out loud and moody enough, and usually an orchestra comes in handy during those situations.Daybreakers is no exception. We open with "Immolation", a dramatic opening track that soon goes for the more typical Gordon manoeuvres, including some almighty fanfares.

At one end, Daybreakers is moody, creepy and atmospheric. Gordon paints this with somber writing, and soft choral accompaniment. We can hear the results in "Nightfall", in the on-edge scale of "Subsider" (with extra percussion) and in the moody yet slightly dramatic "Blood Lust".

At the other end of the scale lies Gordon's amazing orchestral voice. In "On the Run" there seems to be no stopping the immense percussion that's coming your way. Yet in "Ambush" the percussion is brought even more demanding, even more impressive. In "Resurrection" the percussion and orchestra combine forces to create a threatening sound display, and luckily no horror score is without its moments of Elliot Goldenthal. In "Drought" you'll remember back at the moments that infused all his scores, as Gordon delivers an equally astounding trumpet festivity, with the assistance of the atonal growing choir.

Luckily, Daybreakers isn't without it's moments of hope. In "The Winery and the Cafe" we receive a touching moment of love (despite the choral accompaniment trying to break this glance of light) and that theme resurfaces more dramatically in "In the Sun", creating a very dramatic potent track through the use of the choir.

The final tracks deliver the best of the entire score. If we must spell out the best, we have to mention the brilliant "Spreading the Cure". The opening cello moment is fantastic, the middle Goldenthal-like score (Sphere) will bring back happy memories for the fans of the composer, the almighty middle part with thundering percussion and brass is easily the biggest kick-ass writing of the entire score and the fanfare moment of the first track is ready to finish it all with a bang. In "Daybreak" the emotional (sole) theme returns to close the score in style.

At the end of an impressive effective score lies the haunting take by Placebo on a song "Running up that Hill" by Kate Bush (even though most will know it as the version done by Within Temptation).

While Daybreakers flaws big time in the listening experience, it excels in the 'effective' compartment. This efficiency is felt through the powerful written score of Christopher Gordon. Without a doubt, Daybreakers is a score that will work like dynamite in the film, enhancing the dramatic and the horrific. A part of me is compelled to award this with a more respected meaning and rating. Yet once again, Daybreakers isn't without its faults. But it's relieving to discover that some composers still try and dare to go deeper than the usual mediocre sound design of today's modern horror scores. While there are plenty of examples to name titles that deliver such a palette, it is vital to encourage the listener to discover the ones that are a little harder to digest, but therefore all the more meaningful in the end.

Tracklisting

1. Immolation (3.06)
2. Nightfall (4.42)
3. Humans (2.40)
4. Subsider (2.00)
5. On the Run (3.10)
6. Blood Lust (7.27)
7. The Winery and the Cafe (3.53)
8. Fermentation Tank (2.11)
9. Ambush (2.17)
10. Resurrection (4.03)
11. Drought (2.27)
12. In the Sun (6.42) Excellent track
13. Blood Brothers (2.43)
14. Spreading the Cure (11.17) Excellent track
15. Daybreak (6.25) Excellent track
16. Running Up That Hill: Placebo (4.54) Excellent track

Total Length: 69.47
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(total of 16 votes - average 3.84/5)

Released by

Silva Screen SILCD1306 (regular release 2010)

Conducted by

Christopher Gordon

Performed by

The Sydney Scoring Orchestra and Cantillation