Music Composed by: Lorne Balfe

Distributed by: Varese Sarabande

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In the year 1215, the rebel barons forced John, King of England (Paul Giamatti), to sign the Magna Carta, a document upholding the rights of free men.  Unfortunately King John has no intentions of supporting the document and sends a mercenary army to get the barons back in line, returning control of the country to him.  A Templar Knight and a ragtag group of warriors are the only ones standing in their way.  As the mercenaries lay siege to the Rochester Castle, can the knight and his band of warriors hold out long enough to protect the freedom of the people of England?

            The Ironclad Soundtrack was created by Scottish composer Lorne Balfe.  Beginning his career as a composer in Hollywood, Balfe provided additional music for a number of motion picture soundtracks including Pirates of the Caribbean II and III, Angels & Demons, Iron Man and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.  He also composed and produced the score for the  Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 video game, co-composed the soundtrack of Megamind with Hans Zimmer, and produced the soundtracks for Sherlock Holmes and Inception.

            For Ironclad, Balfe wanted to create a soundtrack that would reflect the experiences of the people of the era, “I am proud of this score because it gave me an opportunity to explore the minds of these characters who had just returned from the crusades.  Knowing that the Knights Templar during that time in history would have been exposed to various types of music, including Middle Eastern, Western, and Celtic instrumentation, I was challenged to write a score that was ethnically accurate and not overly westernized and glorified.”  The result was a musical score that had a very exotic feel.  I found it to be heavily influenced by Celtic music with a  smattering of the Mideast.

            There is an epic feel to this soundtrack - it perfectly represents the struggles of the people of the time, their hopefulness, the dashing of those hopes and the resurrection of the spirits as the warriors hold their own against the King’s warriors in an effort to retain their freedom.  The Celtic theme, represented by forlorn strings and carnyx, is featured throughout the soundtrack.  The background vocals adds to the exotic feel as well as offering up the feeling that epic events are unfolding as the music plays.  The battles are underscored by horns, strings and heavy percussion and perfectly represent the emotional and physical toll of the fierce fighting on the warriors.

            The Ironclad Soundtrack is, in my opinion, a perfect representation of the events taking place in the film recreated in music format.  There is no doubt in my mind that this soundtrack fits the visuals of the film perfectly.  As a standalone album, the musical score created by Lorne Balfe is quite beautiful.  I thoroughly enjoyed the soundtrack for the beauty of the music and its exotic feel.  This soundtrack may represent some of Balfe’s best work and is definitely a soundtrack worth taking a listen to.


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