To say that this score is a bit of fun or an entertaining collection of musical themes, is a slight understatement, and also maybe a little disrespectful to the composer. THE 25TH REICH, is a score that encompasses a number of film music genres, and within its many thematic properties it pays homage to a handful of war film themes and also its fair share of themes and sounds that have up until now been associated with sci-fi movies either from way back in the 1950,s or the more up to date examples as in STAR WARS and the new STAR TREK etc. Composer Ricky Edwards
has written a solid sounding soundtrack and has also arranged and orchestrated it wonderfully, giving it an almost epic sound and atmosphere. The opening track,THE 25TH REICH MARCH, is something straight out of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK with full blooded martial sounding drums enhanced by strident strings which both act as a background to ominous and forceful sounding brass flourishes which in turn are bolstered by flyaway sounding woods and percussion, and that electric saw or Theremin sound which relays perfectly an atmosphere of the unworldly. This is a commanding and powerful piece that not only opens the compact disc but becomes a foundation to the remainder of the soundtrack and sets the musical scene perfectly for much of what is to follow. The score also contains some Herrmanesque sounding motifs and passages, strings and jagged brass bouncing off each other to create a sublime sense of unease and foreboding that is tinged with urgency. This I think can be heard more prominently in THAT AI’NT NO PANTHER. In fact overall the score contains numerous nods in the direction of composers such as, Bernstein, Goldsmith, Williams, Barry and in certain areas maybe touches of Irwin Gertz or Herman Stein
are interwoven into the work evoking the vintage horror sci-fi flicks that were produced daily in the 1940,s through to the 1950,s. I found that the marches or variations upon the central theme of the march were particularly entertaining, rat a tat timpani and proud but rather ominous sounding brass punctuation and swirling and vibrant strings all go to make up a rewarding and enriching listen. The score provides the movie with an unrelenting and energetic backdrop and is for me a score that is written in the style of good old fashion film music, when marches were obligatory in war movies and weird sounds and noises provided the chill factor in sci-fi and horror films, Composer Edwards has certainly worked his magic with this score and hopefully we will hear more of him as a composer as opposed to him working as an orchestrator. Most certainly worth a listen. Great art work and as always presented well by Movie score Media and their new collaborator Kronos. This is STAR WARS meets THE GREAT ESCAPE head on.
Read other recent reviews by John Mansell: Addio, Fratello Crudele
, The Dark Side of Light