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Epica - The Score – An Epic Journey

Epica - The Score – An Epic Journey

Label : Transmission Records | Archive under alternative / pop

Release type: Full-length CD

Evil Dr. Smith : Guitarist Mark Jansen and bassist Yves Huts from Epica have composed the soundtrack for the Dutch roadmovie 'Joyride', which features Tygo Gernandt ('Van God Los' and other Dutch movies) and Georgina Verbaan (Dutch soap-actress who causes a stir with a sudden, but incredible boob-boost without silicones… well, that's what she said). Although this album is released under the moniker Epica and not as The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack from 'Joyride' - it contains also more music than you'll hear in the movie - it would have been more than good enough for this movie. Even better than the movie deserves, because at this time of writing this movie from Frank Herrebout gets an embarrassing 3,8 at IMDb. The music certainly isn't that bad.

It's not gothic-based metal, but bombastic and majestic orchestral music. So think of Epica, but without the guitars, bass and drums. Also the mezzo soprano from Simone Simons is something you hardly will hear on this album, only in the songs 'Trois Vierges' (also on Epica's 'Consign To Oblivion', but this version is without Kamelot-singer Roy Khan) and the single version 'Solitary Ground' are featuring her voice. Also 'Quietus' is a song from their last, "normal” album, but on this album you can hear the movie version. Instead of guitar-bass-drum you'll hear the so-called 'Score Orchestra' (a ten-piece string orchestra), various synths and electronics, added with some sporadic backing choir. Mark and Yves work a lot haunting and mystifying themes, just listen to 'Valley Of Sins', which started as a downright variation of Harry Potter's theme (don't let John Williams & Co. hear this for royalties-sake!), but evolves quickly into a whirlwind of spooky themes and sinister atmospheres. It's not the only time you hear the ghost of John Williams floating through the music (the pastoral, introverted 'Empty Gaze' reminds a little of 'Schindler's List' and you may think of Star Wars where the orchestra burst into volcanic eruptions), but also other fantasy composers like Howard Shore ('Lord Of The Rings') and Danny Elfman ('Sleepy Hollow') might hear some occasional similarities (especially 'Mystica').

I'm certainly not the biggest fan/connoisseur of movie soundtracks - I know enough after hearing the movie's theme in most cases - but this album wasn't a crime to listen to from beginning to the end. Also a little extra credit for the song titles, which are completely original amongst all those hundreds soundtracks with song titles like 'Love Theme', 'The Chase', 'The Meeting', 'The Duel', '(girl's name)'s Theme', 'End Credits' etc.etc. It's not fair to compare this album with the few movie composers I do like to listen to for a complete soundtrack album (like Bernard Herrmann from various Hitchcock movies, Milkos Rozsa from Ben Hur and Quo Vadis a.o., and Angelo Badalamento; David Lynch's musical right hand), because this effort is from a young Dutch debutante and it misses the dynamics of real woodwind and the grandeur production of a big Hollywood music budget. But the results are pleasantly surprising (non-Dutch) and atmospherically entertaining, with enough space for subtlety and bombast. So if you don't want to see the movie, which I can understand, buy this album or hope for an isolated score on the DVD-version from 'Joyride'.

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