This is a score designed to be entirely in sync with the degradation that Gotham undergoes, the notes drag as if the music is slave to the picture, if a pictureís worth a thousand words then a Hans Zimmer score is worth just as many. Itís a dark sound that seedily intertwines classical and industrial sounds capturing the sense of loss, desperation, hope, and honour that runs through Nolanís bleak world and itís got Zimmer stamped all over it.
The German born composer though isnít exactly at the cutting edge of film composition these days as the new breed are taking over; hell even Skrillex is turning his hand to film, but youíd be a fool to underestimate this man. Think of a film, a director, an actor even, chances are Zimmer has created the music for something on your list and chances are itís a bona fide classic. Hell, Inceptionís only two years old and itís practically got a following, True Romance is, like most of the Germanís work, instantly recognisable in its sheer bloody minded simplicity, heís composed for Gladiator, Hannibal, The Lion King, Pirates Of The Carribean, Thelma And Louise, heck he even did The Simpsons Movie, he has an Oscar, a few Golden Globes, some Grammyís and a whole host of other awards including a Classical BRIT Award, which no one in the world even knew existed.
This is a score that doesnít just capture the mood of the film it is what creates it.
By this point Iím assuming youíve all seen the film, shed the tears, and winced at the sound of many snapping bones, but by god it was a fucking arduous journey, the soundtrack in its own right is not in the slightest, in fact itís an easy listen; if youíre into techno, chanting, and the violin. The chugging motif rhythm that runs throughout the film goes perfectly with that all knowing hero look Batman has plastered on his face at the best of times. Smarmy git. The mixture of synths and classical is what Zimmer is best known for, but here it becomes almost tribal and instinctual as itís seamlessly intercut with chanting and airy operatic singing. This is a score that doesnít just capture the mood of the film it is what creates it. This is the sound that echoes through the streets of Gotham, the melancholic ramblings of ĎRiseí and its pacey build is the death, redemption, and rebirth of these characters who have struggled to find their way in a world that knows no bounds.
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The dulcet bass tones and pulsing electronics that ripple throughout are insidious and infectious in equal measure and while thereís no standout moment here, as a whole itís effect is disconcerting, jarring, daunting, and not really the best thing to listen to on the bus. It is a master class in musical manipulation, give the man a tambourine and a piano (ĎMind If I Cut In?í) and you have yourself a cat. On 'The Fire Risesí he even uses methods of glitch to throw intentional spanners into the works mimicking musically the technology on show from the boys on screen, itís hideously clever and impeccably sharp as razor wire violins are played to death behind it. You will have this stuck in your head, guaranteed.
Hans Zimmer is already on the list of The 100 Greatest Living Geniuses and with this heís cemented his status. Like the title of the hero itís a score full of contradictions; itís stark and rich, emotional and blank, sharply suited and most definitely masked. This is a soundtrack designed for the heroes, the villains and everyone in between.
If youíre a soundtrack connoisseur then this is definitely one to add to the collection and if not then itís simply a staggering accompaniment to what is already one of the yearís biggest films.