Arthur & Merlin Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Arthur & Merlin by Graham Plowman.
At a glance:
Geek Score: 91.1
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 27.4
Album Excellence: 51.8%
Arthur & Merlin is a 2015 British fantasy film directed by Marco Van Belle and starring Kirk Barker, Stefan Butler & Nigel Cooke. Inspired by the same Celtic myths that J.R.R. Tolkien read as a young man, Arthur and Merlin is an epic fantasy adventure of good against evil, that tells the story of these two iconic characters as you’ve never seen it before. In dark ages Britain, a time of magic and legend, a powerful druid is bent on destroying the Celtic people. Arthur, a banished warrior, and Merlin, a hermit wizard, embark on a heroic quest to stop the druid and save their people, before the Celts are lost forever and become a myth themselves. The score is composed by Graham Plowman.
I’m trying hard to get swept away with the hype, because according to the film’s website, the reviews are pretty impressive and the comparisons with massive movies on huge budgets are there. Now whatever the film is doing, it reflects on the score. I assume the budget here is a bit lower than Peter Jackson’s LOTR series for example so I expect the score to reflect that as well. The score opens with ‘A Time Of War’, a brooding fantasy piece, dark and impressive sounding. The choir is sounding good as well. I know it’s just the first cue, but if the music is similar throughout we might have found ourselves a little gem. ‘The Tuadaan’ is a more uplifting and positive woodwind piece which is thematically very good as well.
For a low budget independent film, Plowman has managed to make it sound bigger than it is, which isn’t easy. Ask any composer out there. I mean sure the brass section and the horns sounds a little artificial, but the way the music is constructed takes a lot of skills, and it sounds very good. Like Lord Of The Rings, and I’m not directly comparing them as a whole, the textural side of the music is key. Not every cue holds a fantastic theme, so the underscoring and the mood has to be great and in this case, it is. I can’t fault it, it’s pretty flawless execution from start to finish. There were a few themes here to enjoy as well, but I wish there were more. Sometimes though, a score can do great without strong themes and this is one of those scores. I found myself loving the non-action side of this score, the cues with long and beautiful textural passages, and that’s the bulk of the score. A great little gem here, so check it out.
1. A Time Of War
2. The Tuadaan
4. Wynar Forest
8. Dark Visions
9. The Parting
12. Nya’s Loss
18. A New King And End Titles