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Deep in the Darkness
  • Composed by Matthew Llewellyn
  • Screamworks Records / 2014 / 47m

In Colin Theys’s Deep in the Darkness, a man takes his family to a quiet town, hoping to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, only to discover a load of terrifying creatures live there.  C’est la vie.  The music is by Matthew Llewellyn, making his way as a composer in his own right after a few years of assisting and orchestrating (particularly in recent years for Brian Tyler).  His score opens with a brief overture which beautifully sets the tone for what’s to come – a classic orchestral horror score technique, dark and ominous.  Then in “The Deighton Residence” comes the biggest surprise (other than the score being purely orchestral) – the elegant main theme, full of gothic romance, which has a confident sweep to it that’s a pleasure to hear. The first of the action music appears in “Rise of the Isolates”, menacing and with no shortage of excitement. It’s tremendously enjoyable. A secondary theme with a gentle, tentative piano solo is introduced in “A Good Fit” and is quite exquisite, just a hint of James Horner about it.

This is superb stuff: the horror genre offers such possibilities to film composers, it’s always a shame to hear generic synth pads and maybe the odd orchestral stinger or two – and always a pleasure to hear a rich soundscape like Deep in the Darkness. I have no idea (nor do I care) if it’s in film order or not but there’s a wonderful flow to the album – the music has a story to tell, a journey to go on, leading to the excellent conclusion “Back into the Light” – and it’s wonderful to go on that journey with it. It’s not the most original thing in the world (a handful of the suspense cues in particular venture into well-charted territory), but somehow in 2014 it feels very fresh and the compelling narrative arc keeps interest levels high throughout. With the surprising amount of melodic content and consistently impressive orchestral writing, it’s right up there with the top scores for this genre in recent years.

Rating: **** | |

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