Composed By: Marco Beltrami

Distributed by: Varese Sarabande Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Snowpiercer is a post-apocalyptic science fiction action film.  Set in a world we have destroyed thanks to a failed experiment aimed at controlling the Earth's weather, the only survivors of a scientifically engineered ice age travel the world via a massive train propelled by a perpetual motion engine.  Those aboard the Snowpiercer, tend to fair differently depending on what end of the train they are in.  Those in front are lavishly taken care of while those in the back suffer rather harsh conditions.  But all of that is about to change thanks to an uprising by members of the back end of the train led by Curtis (Chris Pine).

                The musical score of Snowpiercer was created by award-winning composer Marco Beltrami.  Know for his memorable dramatic musical compositions, Beltrami has created the musical scores of such notable films as Scream, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, 3:10 to Yuma, Trouble With the Curve, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, The Woman in Black, The Homesman and more.

                The Snowpiercer Soundtrack features an orchestral sound wrapped around themes.  According to Beltrami: "I created three basic themes for Snowpiercer.  The first was the perpetual motion theme that I had to figure out early. The second was a theme to represent the frozen world outside the train; a world that was foreign to the people on the train, yet also familiar to them like the remembrance of a past memory. The third was based on the emotional substance of the characters, which to me, was represented by Yona. This became Yona's theme, which is woven throughout the film. Every cue was guided by these three themes."

                The music perfectly expresses the film's survival aspect and the determination of those in the rear cars to rise up against the harsh conditions of their situation and be treated fairly through loud, fast strokes on strings and timpani rolls.  The idea of a train in motion is perfectly expressed in Blackout Fight with the noises of the train moving on the track, metal on metal, chugging along at a high rate of speed and repetitive motion expressed through bell clangs, drum rolls, etc.  Piano and softer strings shed light on gentler moments in the film.  Snare strikes add a sort of military feel, perhaps signifying battle aboard the train.  Yona's Theme, the last track on the album, starts off with melancholy strings and piano.  As the track continues, more instruments are added, making the composition more complex.  After a pause in the music, there is a song which appears to be the Snowpiercer survivors' anthem.

                Marco Beltrami never seems to disappoint.  His composition of the Snowpiercer score is incredibly dramatic and touches upon all of the themes in the film - the class separation, the struggle of the lower class to survive, the constant motion of the train, the harshness of conditions both inside and outside the train and more.  I had no idea what the movie was about before listening to the score, but I knew I wanted to see it simply because of the amazing soundtrack.  If you never see the movie, at least check out the Snowpiercer Soundtrack.  You won't be disappointed.


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