Home > Reviews > ALIEN VS. PREDATOR: REQUIEM – Brian Tyler


December 28, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

It’s interesting how the careers of Brian Tyler and the late Jerry Goldsmith have dovetailed: Tyler replaced Goldsmith on Timeline in 2003, and is scoring the fourth Rambo movie in a series which Goldsmith made his own. On Alien vs. Predator: Requiem, Tyler is not only following in the footsteps of Goldsmith, but also James Horner, Elliot Goldenthal and Alan Silvestri, each of whom left an indelible musical mark on their respective entries into the franchises. What’s most impressive about this score is how Tyler has managed to pay homage to all the composers who preceded him by incorporating some of their compositional stylistics into his own music, while still retaining a great deal of his own voice throughout the score.

This tightrope must have been a difficult one to walk, but he has succeeded admirably. The film itself was a critical and commercial disaster: with an unknown cast, debutante directors (Greg Strause and Colin Strause), and hackneyed plot involving aliens and predators descending on small-town America to wreak havoc, really the only thing to concentrate on is the quality of Tyler’s music.

Tyler doesn’t waste any time setting his stall out, going for the jugular from the outset. The opening “Alien vs. Predator – Requiem” is a massive collision of Goldenthal and Gustav Holst, with the famous ostinato overlaid with throbbing, apocalyptic brass. Elsewhere, the creeping, metallic, sub-industrial chords which so typified James Horner’s Alien music can be heard in the militaristic beginning to the “Opening Titles”, which effortlessly segues into a neat twist the icy isolation of Goldsmith’s classic original score.

Similarly, the instantly-recognizable percussion elements, chord progressions and rhythmic devices from Alan Silvestri’s Predator scores are immediately noticable in cues such as “Skinned and Hanged”. The score’s many action cues, such as the two “National Guard” tracks, “Power Struggle” and the angry, vicious “Searching the Poolhouse” are wholly exciting. However, by far the most impressive piece on the album is the 7½-minute “Decimation Proclamation”, a loud, cacophonous, relentless, utterly thrilling action set piece which is amongst the most impressive single cues of Tyler’s entire career. It nods it’s head to ‘Bishop’s Countdown’ and ‘Futile Escape’, but embraces a broader orchestral palette, resulting in a singularly stunning piece through-composed action music.

If one was to make one criticism of the album it’s that it lasts too long – even with score as good as this, 77 minutes of relentlessly pounding action music can tax even the most hardy listener. A little bit of judicious pruning could have made a good score better; nevertheless, in purely musical terms, this is a winner.

Rating: ****

Track Listing:

  • Alien vs. Predator – Requiem (1:30)
  • Opening Titles (3:04)
  • Decimation Proclamation (7:40)
  • Requiem Epilogue (3:12)
  • National Guard – Part 1 (5:45)
  • National Guard – Part 2 (2:56)
  • Taking Sides (13:04)
  • Predicide (1:31)
  • Kelly Returns Home (1:19)
  • Coprocloakia (5:32)
  • Power Struggle (4:02)
  • Skinned and Hanged (2:48)
  • Down to Earth (2:36)
  • Predator Arrival (3:37)
  • Special Delivery (2:32)
  • Alien Awakening (2:07)
  • Striptease (1:31)
  • Buddy’s New Buddy (1:59)
  • Searching for Poolhouse (3:11)
  • Gutless and Autosurgiosis (2:43)
  • Outnumbered (4:38)

Running Time: 77 minutes 17 seconds

Varese Sarabande VSD-6865 (2007)

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