Hannibal: Season One: Volumes 1 & 2

Composed By: Brian Reitzell

Distributed by: Lakeshore Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Hannibal, the psychological horror/thriller series airing on NBC stars Hugh Dancy as Will Graham, criminal profiler and hunter of serial killers.  When the investigation of the disappearance of several young girls in Minnesota begins to take a heavy psychological and emotional toll on Graham, Agent Jack Crawford (Laurence Fishburne) head of the FBI Behavioral Sciences division, decides to put him under the supervision of a forensic psychiatrist.  Unbeknownst to either of them, Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) knows quite a bit about serial killers.  After all, Dr. Lecter is quite the serial killer himself, with a taste for human cuisine.

                The music of Hannibal was created by drummer, producer and composer Brian Reitzell.  Former drummer for the punk band Redd Kross and current member of TV Eyes, Reitzell began working as a music supervisor before scoring his first feature film scoring gig for Friday Night Lights in 2004.  Since then, he has created musical scores for the films Stranger Than Fiction, 30 days of Night, Red Riding Hood and The Bling Ring; the video gamed Red Faction: Armageddon and Watch Dogs; and the television series The Boss.

                The musical score of the first season of Hannibal was split into two separate soundtracks.  Each The first album features seven tracks and the second features six, one for every episode in the first season.  Each track is fairly long.  Together the albums comprise of almost two and a half hours of music.  Since the character of Dr. Hannibal Lecter is also a gourmet chef, each track, named after the episode it was created for, represents some sort of French cuisine.

                The fact that each track features all of the music appearing on a single episode means that the music contains very little cohesion.  It is actually a fusion of cues that tend to go all over the place.  One minute you will have bits of electronic sound, reverb and heartbeats, another minute you will have a string solo, the next minute low registry sounds or bursts of percussion.  One thing I did find appealing is the use of strange instruments, such as the aboriginal instrument known as the bullroarer, and interesting distortions of everyday instruments.

                Unfortunately, that is not enough to recommend spending about $15.00US apiece for each of the Hannibal: Season One albums.  For a fan of musical score, that would be a waste as the albums feature more sound effects built to enhance the visuals of the television series than actual music.  Though I am quite certain that each track features music and sound that serves to build up the tension of each episode, the fact of the matter is that there is just not enough real music here to enjoy as a stand alone album, let alone two stand alone albums.  You're better off just watching the series and passing on the soundtracks.


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