Well, here it is. Hans' long awaited follow up to his amazing score to The Da Vinci Code. Now, The Da Vinci Code was a flawed film adaptation but it wasn't all bad. I can honestly say it would have been a terrible bore without Hans' score. The motifs carrying through that lead up to the wonderful CheValiers De Sangreal segment were breathtaking. It had a very classic feel in a modern way.
Hans takes the themes and atmospheres from The Da Vinci Code and turns them on their side a bit for Angels & Demons. We still have this angelical religious atmosphere but you can feel the darkness biting on its heels every step of the way. Some of the tracks are incredibly intense. The choral arrangements are breathtaking and the score has a pulsing life to it. There are some percussion segments that felt uncharacteristic of Hans and more along the lines of Harry Gregson-Williams, but they keep the pace moving. Zimmer fans will find some arrangements similar to his score for Hannibal, which I guess not coincidently was a score to a film that took place in Florence.
Hans has a few soloists featured on the score. Most notably is Joshua Bell on the violin, which I'm sure was recommended by James Newton Howard after he used him for Defiance. Longtime collaborators Heitor Pereira is the featured guitarist and Martin Tillman on the cello. Each of them providing personal performances to their instruments as they accent Hans' music.
The album finishes off with a variation on the popular CheValiers piece that closed The Da Vinci Code. You can also get a bonus non-album track titled "H20" by going to angelsanddemons.com/soundtrack. You have to sign up for updates, but once you do you immediately get the bonus track. Overall, this is a great score by Hans. It doesn't feel like a rehash of The Da Vinci Code, which I think some people were expecting. It's a great continuation on the themes, moods and atmospheres he built with the first score. It's definitely more aggressive and bleeds of the Zimmer style. Bravo.