Psalm 21

Composed by: Christer Christensson

Distributed by: Screamworks Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In Psalm 21, Jonas Malmsjö is Henrik, a modern young priest who lives in Stockholm and has been suffering from nightmares about his dead mother.  One day, Henrik receives word that his father, also a priest, has drown in a remote village in the dark woods of Northern Sweden.  The circumstances of his death are unexplained and Henrik sets out to Northern Sweden to investigate the death himself.  But once he begins his investigation, he uncovers quite a bit more than he ever expected…quite possibly more than he, himself, can survive.

            The musical score of Psalm 21 was created by Christer Christensson who has composed primarily for stage.  Psalm 21 is Christensson’s full length feature film debut.  Psalm 21 is a horror film with religious undertones and one would expect such a film to contain a dark theme.  Christensson’s compositions for this film are definitely dark.  Often times a track will begin in relatively quiet, with the listener straining to hear a sound, when out of nowhere comes a cacophony of strings, woodwinds and brass.

            I have read several reviews touting Christensson’s composition for this film as nothing short of genius.  I find it hard to concur.  While the score does its job in adding to the spookiness of the visuals in the film, I found it to be nothing all that special when it comes to horror soundtracks.  In fact, I found it to be a bit on the boring side.  The music doesn’t really pick up momentum until the fourteenth track, Why, Henrik, Why?, and by then, the soundtrack is almost done. 

            The Psalm 21 Soundtrack is best suited as music to go along with the visuals in the film, but as a stand alone album, I can’t really recommend it as I really was not very impressed.  However, this is the composer’s first full length feature and the whole idea was to create a score that both represented and enhanced the movie.  In that respect, I would say that Christer Christensson did an excellent job in achieving this task.  I simply question the powers that be who felt the need to create a limited edition soundtrack.  Some musical scores are just not meant to be turned into albums for public sale.


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