- Composed by Paul Haslinger
- Lakeshore Records / 2012 / 59:14
I’m not a religious man, but the sight of Kate Beckinsale in her leather outfits in the Underworld series is enough to convince me that somewhere along the line, there must have been some kind of intelligent design. I don’t feel it’s an exaggeration to say that it is the best thing in the history of cinema, if not mankind itself. Sadly, intelligent design is notable by its absence when considering the music for the series, which was briefly enlivened when Marco Beltrami came on board for the second film (though it’s not one of his better works) but otherwise has received the equal-but-opposite force to the good that is Kate Beckinsale, which is the music of Paul Haslinger. One of the film’s directors is called Björn, which of course makes me think about the music of Abba, one of the many things which is better to think about than Haslinger’s score for Underworld: Awakening. Other things on that list of things include gone-off milk and genital warts.
The album is mostly an exercise in noise. Some parts are quite noisy, others are less noisy. It is important to note that even the more noisy parts can be made less noisy by reducing the volume, preferably to zero. Doing so would mean avoiding some truly insipid film music, devoid of imagination or anything of particular quality. Some might like the couple of Zimmerish action tracks – in “Prepare the Armoury”, at least the noise seems to have a bit of purpose – and right near the end, “The Melancholy of Resistance” features some Battlestar Galactica-ish vocals which are actually pretty attractive. Those two tracks earn the album an extra half-star, but that’s being a bit generous, because the rest is just dire. It tries hard to be abrasive and unsettling, but it’s really just too sanitised to even achieve that – it ends up just being formless, tuneless and lacking even a basic appeal. * 1/2