Latest reviews of new albums:
Stake Land
  • Composed by Jeff Grace
  • Screamworks Records / 2011 / 48:02

A post-apocalyptic road movie (with vampires!), Stake Land is an interesting-sounding film which most people will probably have a better chance of seeing at home than in the cinema (where the release has been very limited).  Jeff Grace’s score is the première release on a new label, Screamworks Records, a sister label to producer Mikael Carlsson’s MovieScore Media which will focus exclusively on scores for horror movies, which have provided a fertile landscape in the past for the MSM label.  Indeed, some of those have been composed by the talented New York-based Grace, whose relatively brief career to date has included some fine music in this genre.

Stake Land is an intelligent score, one with a lot of soul.  It is performed largely by a small acoustic ensemble, with some keyboards (and a vuvuzela!) – and is fairly diverse, Grace combining various separate ideas together very well.  The powerhouse main title piece is exciting and exhilarating, though this is not the dominant style of the score (some action music does crop up – I love the stylish, grungey “Alarm Trigger” for instance – but relatively rarely).  The bulk of the music is more restrained, of the psychological variety, often filled with a surprising amount of emotion for music to a film like this.  There are some piano solos (played by the composer) which are very beautiful and feel as if there’s real feeling behind them; and some moments of great, calm beauty for strings.  This is a fine album, a solid début for the new label and hopefully a portent of some fine music to come.  *** 1/2

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  1. Edmund Meinerts (Reply) on Thursday 23 June, 2011 at 23:01

    Landmark: First score to use the vuvuzela! I knew it would happen one day 🙂