Soundtrack Review: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Soundtrack Review: The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The Dark Knight Rises Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score The Dark Knight Rises by Hans Zimmer.

“I put this trilogy of scores up with the absolute best trilogies in the history of film music.”

So it’s finally the end of Nolan’s Batman trilogy, and what a finale we have in store for us! Eight years after Batman took the fall for Two Face’s crimes, a new terrorist leader, Bane, overwhelms Gotham’s finest, and The Dark Knight resurfaces to protect a city that has branded him an enemy. It is of course directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale as Batman, Michael Caine as Alfred and Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon. The score is composed by Hans Zimmer.

Track List

1. A Storm Is Coming 80
2. In Thin Ice 80
3. Gotham’s Reckoning 100
4. Mind If Cut In 100
5. Underground Army 80
6. Born In Darkness 80
7. The Fire Rises 100
8. Nothing Out There 80
9. Despair 100
10. Fear Will Find You 100
11. Why Do We Fall? 100
12. Death By Exile 80
13. Imagine The Fire 100
14. Necessary Evil 80
15. Rise 100

The most anticipated score of the year is here, and even if you don’t agree, there are simply too many fans just dying to get their sweaty hands on this score. I have definitely looked forward to the third chapter in the Batman series of films by Christopher Nolan because I loved “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight” both films and scores. On June 10, the bomb hit us all. Empire Online actually had the full score streaming on their website and so I had to join everyone in an attempt to listen to it before the imminent internet meltdown. There’s no James Newton Howard this time, but will the score need him?

If you are familiar with Batman Begins and particularly The Dark Knight you will not find many surprises in the score. It is definitely a Hans Zimmer Batman score to the core and that’s the way it’s meant to be.

The score is approximately 52 minutes long and feature 15 tracks in all and luckily there are no remix filler tracks like some feared. Instead it is really filled to the brim with music we expect to burst at us while watching the film. It is not an all out action score, but the action there is in here is what you would expect from a Zimmer Batman score, extremely high quality. ‘Gotham’s Reckoning’ for example is just what the doctor ordered but now with added chants. Yes, the chants play a big role in the score and it adds to the overall great quality.

In a couple of cues, ‘Underground Army’ and ‘Imagine The Fire’, I could hear the bassline from another great Zimmer cue from the past ‘The Kraken’, but apart from that, it is mostly influenced from the two previous Batman scores.

Also, the Catwoman theme ‘Mind If I Cut In’ definitely sounds different than the rest of the score and other themes like Batman, Joker, Two-Face etc.

When you come to track 7 ‘The Fire Rises’ be prepared for over 5 minutes of awesome action music. The start is toxic, wild, even extreme, but Zimmer has never been the one to shy away from such things. It’s explosive and just put this on maximum volume and enjoy the carnage. ‘Imagine The Fire’ is the longest cue on the score with 7 and a half minute and it’s also one of the best cues on the score. Just like ‘The Fire Rises’ it has a massive and epic approach that just keeps on pushing the sounds of delicious Zimmer-ish mayhem at you. It’s close to being the best action cue of the franchise but I still think ‘Molossus’ from Batman Begins has the edge. ‘Rise’ is the ending track and at over 7 minutes long it is another great reason to love this score. It’s TDKR’s ‘A Dark Knight’

Conclusion

The Dark Knight Rises feels fresh even though it is based on the previous Batman scores. It rises to a new level of excitement for me, although my personal favorite is still “Batman Begins”. It also lacks a cue like ‘A Dark Knight’ which is by far my favorite cue of the franchise (even though ‘Rise’ is pretty damn good and feels like a shorter remix of it), but overall this score is nothing short of great. It has what you would expect from a Zimmer Batman score and then it adds some phenomenal explosive stuff that keeps you coming back for more. I love this score and it feels so right, yet I can’t say it is the best score of the year so far (even though I want to). The numbers don’t add up, but by the end of the year, this will be the score I have listened the most. Is James Newton Howard missed? Perhaps a little, but Zimmer more than makes up for it in the end and finishes up this trilogy like the seasoned pro that he is. I put this trilogy of scores up with the absolute best trilogies in the history of film music. Just for the record though, Batman Begins is still my clear favorite of the three. What’s yours?

As a sidenote I have noticed that you get exclusive tracks when you order the CD from Amazon, ‘Bombers Over Ibiza (Junkie XL remix)’, ‘No Stone unturned’ and Risen From Darkness’. When you order from iTunes you get a different set of tracks in addition to ‘Bombers Over Ibiza (Junkie XL Remix)’: ‘The Shadows Betray You’ and ‘The End’. So it appears we have the same issue Tron: Legacy had to deal with. You will have to order several versions to get it all, which frankly sucks. Hopefully you will be able to get it all by ordering a Deluxe Edition or something like that but I won’t hold my breath.

GEEK SCORE: 90.6

Buy the score at Amazon or Amazon MP3. (iTunes link will be added when officially available)

Listen to The Dark Knight Rises by Hans Zimmer:

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Soundtrack Review: The Dark Knight Rises (2012), 8.5 out of 10 based on 92 ratings

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