Dawn of the Dragonslayer

Composed by: Panu Aaltio

Distributed by: MovieScore Media

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            Also known as Paladin, Dawn of the Dragonslayer is a fantasy film released on DVD in the UK on February 13, 2012.  The movie stars Richard McWilliams as Will Shepherd, a young man who leaves home after his father is slain by a dragon.  Hoping to become a bondsman to Lord Sterling and work his way into knighthood, he finds that Lord Sterling’s holdings have been devastated by the plague, leaving only Lord Sterling, his daughter Kate (Nicola Posener) and a few servants alive.  Will and Kate find themselves falling in love, a love forbidden by class, rivaled by an evil knight and threatened by the reappearance of the dragon that killed Will’s father.

            The musical score of Dawn of the Dragonslayer was created by Finish composer Panu Aaltio, who began his musical career early in life, becoming a classically trained cellist by the age of six.  He also developed a love for electronic music around the same age.  Studying music technology and classical composition in Sibelius Academy in Helsinki after high school, Panu Aaltio moved to Los Angeles in 2005 to study film music at the University of Southern California.  Upon graduating, he received the Harry Warren Scholarship for Excellence in Film Scoring.  Since then, Panu Aaltio has combined his love of classical and electronic music to create unique musical scores for such films as The Home of Dark Butterflies, Sauna and Body of Water and the video game Apache: Air Assault.

            The musical score of Dawn of the Dragonslayer is everything one would expect to hear during an epic adventure.  The heroic theme of the Paladin can be found interlaced in quite a few of the fifteen album tracks, featuring the brass fanfare one would expect to hear surrounding the arrival of and heroic deeds performed by a hero.  The forbidden love of Will and Kate is beautifully portrayed in sad, classically-based music, the first being simply sad, but the second yielding some sort of hope for the lovers. 

            The Dawn of the Dragonslayer Soundtrack is extremely enjoyable despite being rather predictable.  I expected a bit more from Panu Aaltio, considering that he is known for his blending of classical and electronic music, but I can’t fault him for taking the expected road and using brass fanfare and percussions to represent the heroic aspects of the film.  The soundtrack is excellent in a supporting role to the visuals of the film.  As a stand alone album, the soundtrack is just as enjoyable.  The Dawn of the Dragonslayer Soundtrack is definitely an album worth taking a listen to…just be careful not to listen to it while driving as it may inspire extreme speed.


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