For a while we didn’t see much of Howard Shore. He was off busy at work on the opera stage version of The Fly. For the past 3 years we hardly got any Shore at all. The Departed in 2006, The Last Mimzy and Eastern Promises in 2007 and Doubt in 2008. That was pretty much it.
Shore now returns to his true form with Edge Of Darkness for Martin Campbell. Edge Of Darkness was exactly what I was expecting. It’s pure vintage Howard Shore that calls back on his masterful work for Fincher with Se7en and Panic Room. Brooding and somber strings that provide wall to wall sound make up the bulk of the score. His signature low end brass adds variation to the structure. Shore throws in some high pitch violin screeches now and then to climax certain cues. They are hair raising to say the least and the first one caught me off guard and gave me quite the chill.
While most of the music is pretty much bubbling tension there are moments of gentle emotion that peek out. The score is harsh in its mood but is not aggressive in its approach. Like I said before it’s bubbling tension. It reaches a full boil but never splashes over the edge of the pot. The score is well contained and focused. There is nothing complex about Shore’s approach to this sort of material. If you’ve seen Se7en and Panic Room then you know what I’m talking about. That being said this is old ground that has been well covered. There isn’t anything fresh nor any moments that stand out. Shore’s scores usually don’t make the best solo listening experiences, but that shouldn’t deter you from checking this one out. The score is very atmospheric rather than thematic and it succeeds in mounting tension till it erupts.