The Dead

Composed by: Imran Ahmad

Distributed by: Indelible Music

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            In The Dead, Rob Freeman is American Air Force Engineer Lieutenant Brian Murphy, soul survivor of the last evacuation flight out of war-torn Africa which has crashed somewhere off the coast.  But war is not the only deadly thing to be found in the unforgiving African desert.  The dead are coming back to life and Lt. Murphy must join forces with Sgt. Daniel Dembele (Prince David Osei), whose own village has been destroyed by zombies.  Can two men survive against the hordes of undead growing ever larger throughout the world?

            The musical score of The Dead was created by British-Indian composer Imran Ahmad.  Based out of London, Imran Ahmad’s music has been broadcast on UK and international television and commercially released worldwide.  He has composed music for a number of documentaries, most notably the multi-award winning Mayomi, a portrait of a young woman's struggle in post-tsunami Sri Lanka.  He is also co-director of 4Dio, a transmedia publishing company creating "audio movies."

            The Dead is a horror film and it is always interesting to listen to new composers’ takes on the genre and how to make the music they compose scarier than previous horror soundtracks.  As the first zombie film to be set against the backdrop of rural Africa, The Dead Soundtrack was bound to contain music with an African flare.  According to Imran Ahmad, The music intends to reflect the beauty of the natural world turning into a twisted and distorted reality. I hope the listener is able to share the journey across rural Africa that is portrayed in the film.”

            The exotic influence is immediately apparent through the use of African instruments, such as the kora, woodwinds and percussion, and vocal performances by Saba Tewelde.  Without knowing the background of this film, the exotic instruments and vocals combined with the screeches and screams in the background give the listener the feeling that something horrific is happening in an exotic locale.  And the hissing of the zombies as they attack...yikes!  The whole experience is terrifying…but in a good way.  The music on this album has an intrinsic beauty, despite the moments designed to drive fear into the heart of the listener and thus enhance the horror movie experience.

            For an artist who has mostly composed music for documentaries to date, Imran Ahmad has proven he definitely knows his way around the horror genre, creating a musical score for The Dead that is much more than background music.  This score enhances the experience and it is no wonder that so many people were clamoring to get their hands on The Dead’s soundtrack.  A great accompaniment to the film, The Dead Soundtrack features over an hour’s worth of music and makes for an enjoyable and incredibly spooky standalone album.


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