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Angels & Demons
Album Cover Art
Composed, Arranged, and Produced by:

Conducted by:
Nick Glennie-Smith

Orchestrated by:
Bruce Fowler

Additional Music by:
Lorne Balfe
Atli Orvarsson

Solo Violin Performances by:
Joshua Bell
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Sony Classical
(May 12th, 2009)
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Regular U.S. release. A two-minute bonus cue was available for download from the movie's website at the time of the film's debut.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you consistently adore Hans Zimmer's predictably masculine choral bombast and propulsive bass ostinatos on pulsating strings or synthesizers regardless of their marginal variation.

Avoid it... if you expect refreshing originality or anything as compelling as the "CheValiers de Sangreal" performance of the common title theme from the previous score.
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WRITTEN 5/10/09
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Angels & Demons: (Hans Zimmer/Various) One of the few entertaining aspects of contemporary Catholic power is its inability to intelligently handle (or "spin," as it's called these days) what it perceives as pop culture attacks to its sensibilities. Ron Howard's The Da Vinci Code grossed three quarters of a billion dollars worldwide in 2006, a sum produced in part because of the popularity of novelist Dan Brown's original story, a magnificent marketing campaign by Sony, and useless protests by the Catholics. When will organized religious learn that protesting a pop culture film will only yield higher earnings for the studios? The amusing part of the equation came when Howard decided to make Brown's prequel (or sequel, depending on whether you follow the chronology of the books or the somewhat altered one in the films), Angels & Demons, a few years later. Despite the fact that the plot of this second film actually involves the defense of the Vatican by Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon, the Catholics couldn't resist punishing Howard for The Da Vinci Code by refusing to allow him adequate access to film Angels & Demons on location in Rome (reducing the time of the shoot there to just two weeks and forcing special effects to render the rest). Howard persevered, however, and in so doing managed to correct some of the problems with the translation of Brown's previous narrative to the big screen. While The Da Vinci Code attempted to infuse too much of the cerebral historical discussion into the plot to make it a viable chase film, Angels & Demons represents a better balance of propulsive adventure and intellectual contemplation. The villains of the second film are the Illuminati, a group of progressives in Europe dating back several centuries who have determined that the time is right to exact their revenge on the Vatican for once persecuting them. Their possession of an anti-matter bomb, four kidnapped cardinals, and a mole inside the Vatican's inner circle force the Catholic leadership to seek the help of Langdon to use the clues in the Church's history to avoid an embarrassing and deadly elimination of St. Peter's Square and all of its faithful. While nobody ever expected Angels & Demons to earn as much as its predecessor, its outstanding production values gave Sony high hopes. And, right on cue, the Vatican belatedly declared the film to be of no threat to its narrow view of the universe.

Nominated for a Golden Globe and a Grammy Award for his work on The Da Vinci Code was composer Hans Zimmer. The score represented one of the few mostly solo efforts for the composer in the 2000's, and it predictably divided listeners along familiar lines. It was a score derived purely of Zimmer's comfortable foundations, glossing over the intellectual nuances of the tale with emotional ostinatos of masculine bass that have come to define his career since Batman Begins. Few can argue that the inspirational "CheValiers de Sangreal" cue from The Da Vinci Code isn't among the highlights of the composer's career, but as with Pearl Harbor and a handful of other scores, Zimmer has proven several times that his ability to generate outstanding music doesn't always accompany the topics on screen as well as necessary. Not only did the constructs and orchestration of The Da Vinci Code lack the intellectual depth to match the script, but Zimmer's usual tendency to mix his scores with heavy bass and an abrasive edge caused the recording to sound as though he had used samples when in fact it was largely symphonic. The tables are turned in Angels & Demons, though the result is marginally similar. In the time since The Da Vinci Code, Zimmer's popularity has continued to rise, despite his role as mostly a producer and coordinator of his personal musical production house, Remote Control. During the media circus involving The Dark Knight in 2008, the composer announced that he would retire from film scoring for a while once done with Howard's Frost/Nixon. Alas, 2009 has not only yielded Angels & Demons, but reportedly additional projects on the horizon. Another awkward Zimmer statement recently came at the debut of Angels & Demons, where he stated that he completely wiped his slate clean when conceiving of the music for this film, using no material that had come before. At about the same time, he contradicted himself in a joint interview with Howard, both claiming that the theme from "CheValiers de Sangreal" clearly represents a musical identity for Langdon's journey and thus serving as the backbone for this sequel score. The use of that theme in promotional material for Angels & Demons is unmistakable as well. Ultimately, close examination of the score shows that much from The Da Vinci Code does carry over, despite Zimmer's bizarre statement to the contrary at the film's red carpet media frenzy.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.17 Stars
***** 312 5 Stars
**** 311 4 Stars
*** 325 3 Stars
** 265 2 Stars
* 212 1 Stars
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Read All Start New Thread Search Comments
Hans Zimmer is my embodiment of The Lord God   Expand >>
Douglass Callaway - December 9, 2010, at 7:34 p.m.
2 comments  (1134 views)
Newest: December 15, 2010, at 7:28 Topper Harley
Zimmer The Great   Expand >>
Trevor - January 24, 2010, at 11:37 p.m.
2 comments  (1262 views)
Newest: January 30, 2010, at 10:02 Kern
Holy crap, it's awesome!
Richard Kleiner - November 14, 2009, at 7:07 p.m.
1 comment  (854 views)
Reviewer: You are a sinner. Absolve yourself of your burden!   Expand >>
Kingdom of God - July 1, 2009, at 3:41 p.m.
4 comments  (2152 views)
Newest: April 6, 2010, at 11:08 xcountry1138
5 note ambigram?
Parker1 - June 18, 2009, at 1:12 p.m.
1 comment  (1016 views)
Comparing A&D and Da Vinci Code
tk421 - June 10, 2009, at 10:36 a.m.
1 comment  (1273 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 54:20
• 1. 160 BPM (6:42)
• 2. God Particle (5:20)
• 3. Air (9:08)
• 4. Fire (6:51)
• 5. Black Smoke (5:45)
• 6. Science and Religion (12:27)
• 7. Immolation (3:38)
• 8. Election By Adoration (2:12)
• 9. 503 (2:14)

Bonus Download Track:
• 10. H2O* (1:51)
* not included on CD album or its total time

Notes Icon
The insert includes a list of performers, but no extra information about the score or film. The bonus track could be downloaded at the time of the album's release from the film's official website.
Copyright © 2009-2015, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Angels & Demons are Copyright © 2009, Sony Classical and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 5/10/09 (and not updated significantly since).
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