The Dark Knight Rises

Composed By: Hans Zimmer

Distributed by: WaterTower Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In The Dark Knight Rises, the third and final segment of the Dark Knight Trilogy, Christian Bale returns as Bruce Wayne, AKA: Batman, millionaire playboy by day, vigilante crime fighter by night.  Eight years have passed since the events of the last film.  The city of Gotham has been quite these days and Batman has all but disappeared.  Crime has been at an all time low, but not for long.  A mysterious woman has appeared in Gotham: Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), attractive socialite by day, cat burglar by night.  And then there is Bane (Tom Hardy), the masked terrorist who has taken over where Ra's al Ghul left off and will stop at nothing to rid the world of the Caped Crusader.

            The musical score of The Dark Knight Rises was created by Academy-Award winning German composer Hans Zimmer.  Music was an important part of Hans Zimmer's life, becoming his escape after the death of his father.  He began his career in music playing keyboards and synthesizers and moved in to film scoring in 1980.  Since then he has composed music for over 100 films, including Rain Man, The Lion King, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, The DaVinci Code, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and the previous Dark Knight movies (working in collaboration with James Newton Howard).

            The Dark Knight Trilogy of movies are dark by design and action filled and the scores created for the movies have always reflected this.  The score for The Dark Knight Rises is especially dark, considering the state of affairs in Gotham.  Gone are the original cues from the previous films signifying Batman's appearance or Bruce Wayne's flair.  Despite the lack of crime in Gotham over the past eight years, the coming storm is about to destroy Bruce Wayne's life as he knows it and turn Gotham upside down.  A much darker musical score would be needed for this film and Hans Zimmer delivers.

            Catwoman is a more cunning villain than Batman has dealt with in the past.  This woman deals in stealth and mystery.  Her sound...sounding almost like gypsy cymbals...speaks to that stealth and is mixed in with solo strings, a mode of expressing the beauty along with the cunning.   Bane...well, fans of the comics know just what kind of monster Bane is.  He's an angry, calculating and destructive character deserving of a dark and dangerous score, punctuated with loud horns in lower registries, heavy percussion, ominous sounding synths and chanting.  Listening to this music, even if you never picked up a Batman comic, you just know that Bane is going to be one of Batman's darkest, most violent villains to date.  The horns and percussion speak to his strength while the chanting speaks to the mystery behind the mask.

            From start to finish, the musical score of The Dark Knight Rises features a dark score unlike anything heard in the previous Dark Knight films.  The score is ominous, but exciting, pumping the adrenaline as it gives us reason to worry about our favorite hero.  Hans Zimmer has created the perfect musical score for the final film of the trilogy - one that expresses the mood of the movie's setting, the latest villains and Batman as he struggles to face his latest nemesis.  The Dark Knight Rises Soundtrack is definitely one worth checking out and there are a couple of ways you can do so.  The CD version will contain an exclusive link to three bonus tracks, while a deluxe version of the album which features all three bonus tracks will be available in digital format.  WaterTower Records will also be releasing a limited edition vinyl configuration on September 4, 2012.      


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