The Machine

Composed By: Tom Raybould

Distributed by: MovieScore Media

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


           The science fiction thriller, The Machine, is set in a dystopian world in which Britain is at constant war with China.  Looking for the upper hand in this war, Scientist Vincent McCarthy (Toby Stephens) is charged with creating an Artificial Intelligence soldier that looks and sounds human, but has super strength, speed and agility.  Initial attempts at creating this super soldier end with disastrous results, but a new AI, crafted using the brain of McCarthy's assistant Ava (Caity Lotz), shows promise, until the trauma of training alters the AI's programming.

The musical score of The Machine was created by Welsh composer Tom Raybould.  Having created musical scores for television as well as a number of movie shorts, Tom Raybould's score for The Machine represents his debut in full feature films.  Despite the limited release of the film, the music has already received much attention, winning a BAFTA award and causing a lawsuit when someone who enjoyed his music allegedly decided to sample it for their own song without permission.

Once again, I decided to listen to a musical score without reading up on what the movie is about.  Thus, I had a clean perspective when listening to The Machine Soundtrack.  Consisting entirely of electronic music, the score created by Tom Raybould has a futuristic sound, letting the listener know that we are listening to music for a film set in the future.  Synths especially help to give the score that science fiction futuristic flare.  Low registry reverb gives off a sense of danger, reminiscent of Terminator, which, in addition to the movie's title, led me to believe that this was a score about robots created with warlike qualities.  Softer tones in the electronica lead one to believe that there are moments in the film in which dystopian danger is forgotten...perhaps moments of love or caring.

The fact that I was able to surmise all of this without having read up on the film is testimony to the excellent job the composer did in interpreting the story through the medium of music.  The soundtrack of The Machine is an enjoyable and often adrenaline pumping musical experience for which I offer kudos to Tom Raybould.  I hope to hear more from this composer in the future.


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