Music By: Lucas Vidal
Distributed by: Lakeshore Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the movie Invader, Alberto Ammann is Pablo, an army doctor who has survived an insurgent attack in Iraq. Having been repatriated back to Spain and returned to his wife and daughter, Pablo receives a hero's welcome, but can barely remember what happened to him in Iraq. As memories begin to return, Pablo realizes that the official version of the events in Iraq don't match with his memories. Should he just allow the government to continue relaying events as they have, or should he come forward and reveal the truth?
The musical score of Invader was created by Spanish composer Lucas Vidal. A native of Madrid, Spain, Lucas Vidal attended Berklee College of Music on a scholarship, where he was the youngest student on record to compose and record a musical score for a feature film with an 80-piece orchestra. He obtained his Bachelor's Degree at Berklee and moved on to study at Juilliard in New York City. He has since composed the musical scores of numerous feature films, including The Raven and The Cold Light of Day, in addition to conducting at the Boston Symphony Hall and composing for video games, advertisements and the opening gala of the Boston Ballet. Vidal received recognition for his talents at the 2012 Soundtrack Awards with a nomination for Discovery of the Year.
Since the movie is set in Galicia, Spain, Lucas Vidal opted to record the musical score of Invader with the Orchestra of Galicia. According to Vidal, "Invader is written for a full-sized orchestra, with quite a few percussive and electronic elements added. I did a lot of research into Iraqi music for the flashback scenes, but the score is definitely grounded in Hollywood-style western orchestral traditions." Of the Orchestra of Galicia, Vidal said, "I had never worked with them before, but they played beautifully, and really exceeded the expectations of everyone on my team."
The music of Invader is incredibly dramatic. The paranoid feelings of the main character, both as a partial amnesiac and as one realizing that the truth is something that the powers that be want to suppress, are perfectly expressed in this score. In Followed, for example, the listener will get the distinct impression that they are being watched while listening to the music and may even glance over their shoulder as I did to make certain they are not. There are also fast-paced action tracks like Pursuit on Foot that will give you the distinct impression that you are being chased and time is running thin. But my favorite tracks featured violin solos that expressed major emotion such as in Massacre and Sacrifice. The violin is an instrument that is often used to express sadness. The lamentations of the violin solos in these tracks let the listener know that some tragedy is taking place.
I wasn't certain what to expect when I began listening to the Invader Soundtrack. I had no previous experience with the composing prowess of Lucas Vidal. I now see that this is an up-and-coming artist whose composing style expresses emotion on a broad scale, causing the listener to feel what is going on in the film. The Invader Soundtrack was quite and enjoyable listening experience and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys emotionally expressive musical scores.