The Dark Valley

Composed By: Matthias Weber

Distributed by: MovieScore Media

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the Austrian-German western, The Dark Valley, Sam Riley is Grieder, a young stranger who rides into a small town in the Austrian Alps.  No one is quite sure who he is or where he came from, but one thing is for certain - Grieder has business in this town...bloody business.  And he aims to stay until his job here is done.

                The Dark Valley Soundtrack features songs by Clara Luzia, Steaming Sattelites and One Two Three Cheers and a Tiger and musical score by German composer Matthias Weber.  Growing up in a musical family, Weber began becoming serious about music at the early age of five.  He began learning how to master a variety of instruments and was classically trained in music in Germany.  He then took up composition and film scoring at the Berklee College of Music on a Fulbright Scholarship.  Weber followed this up with graduate studies in music at the USC Thornton School of Music.  Over the last two decades, Matthias Weber has created music for television and film.  His résumé includes scoring for Baywatch, The Sopranos, The Good Wife, Shadow of the Sword, Traces of Evil and more.

                The musical score of The Dark Valley is extremely dark and ominous.  Performed by the Skopje Film Orchestra, the score features a number of rare instruments such as the guitar viol, the ronroco and the Alpine horn.  These lend to that ominous sound that even permeates the track called Wedding, which definitely does not contain celebratory music at all as the title might suggest. 

                The songs on The Dark Valley are just as dark as the score.  Sinnerman is an African American spiritual song that speaks of a sinner trying to dodge justice on Judgment Day.  The song is appropriate for the film and you can guess that it plays each time Grieder tries to exact justice on one of his enemies.  Sinnerman is featured twice on this album.  The first version is a rather spooky rendition performed by Clara Luzia.  The second is a more alternative rock version performed by One Two Three Cheers and a Tiger.  The only other song on the album is How Dare You!, a rather dark and angry track performed by Steaming Sattlelites.

                Listening to The Dark Valley Soundtrack, I can just imagine the darkness of the film.  The ominous vibe that the score gives the listener speaks to an unspeakable crime about to be avenged.  While I'm not sure that someone who hasn't seen the film would purchase this album, I can honestly say that it is perfect for the film itself.  In fact, it has inspired me to check out The Dark Valley at my earliest convenience.


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