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Section Header
The Chronicles of Riddick
Composed and Produced by:
Graeme Revell

Orchestrated and Conducted by:
Tim Simonec

Varèse Sarabande

Release Date:
June 8th, 2004

Also See:
Red Planet

Audio Clips:
4. One Speed (0:32):
WMA (206K)  MP3 (258K)
Real Audio (160K)

7. Arrival at Helion (0:30):
WMA (195K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

17. Furyan Energy (0:30):
WMA (193K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

21. Keep What You Kill (0:30):
WMA (195K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

Regular U.S. release.


The Chronicles of Riddick
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Sales Rank: 188255

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Buy it... if you can satisfy yourself with orchestral science-fiction action music that is basically sufficient but only as intelligent as Vin Diesel's bulging biceps.

Avoid it... if you require interesting or refreshing instrumental and structural ideas in the genre that don't stumble over their own feet when trying to generate massively noisy ruckus.

The Chronicles of Riddick: (Graeme Revell) When the character of Riddick first appeared on screen in the 2000 film Pitch Black, audiences and critics did not indicate that he, nor his sci-fi horror concept, was of the quality that could spawn a sequel. But a cultish following of that film on DVD led the primary character (among a few others) to reappear in 2004's equally mind-numbing The Chronicles of Riddick. Whereas the first film defined itself as a straight-forward horror flick, challenging the viewer to choose loyalties very carefully, the sequel sends the character into politics and battles of planetary and, indeed, galactic proportions. Without much dissent, critics hurled considerable insults at The Chronicles of Riddick (the tagline "riddick-ulous" seems to pop up in several places), mostly because of the lack of any true plotline worth caring about and, of course, the outpouring of CGI-rendered vistas, characters, and battles that could cause viewers to either cringe or laugh. Director David Twohy returned from Pitch Black to helm The Chronicles of Riddick, flooding the screen with flashing close-up shots of battle, and he collaborated once again with composer Graeme Revell to receive the gritty, minor key-dominated music of choice. With the score for the original film having been spread amongst the composer's fans in bootleg format, Revell's sequel score received full album treatment by Varèse Sarabande, the label that stood beside Revell during the early 2000's and released a fair amount of his music, including some trashy entries. This one isn't necessarily among that latter group, but whether he's been typecast into the role or not, Revell seems to take a significant number of scoring assignments for films that are predominantly gray and black in coloration, yielding challenging music. Most of these flicks dwell in the B-rated range of quality, or perhaps just outside the A-rate range if only because of the high promise but poor execution of the films he scores. Leaving the horror element behind and embracing straight action, The Chronicles of Riddick seems to follow the musical path set by Daredevil the previous year, but at a greater volume. While competent at every turn, the 2004 score is not particularly memorable, failing to unleash anything unique enough to qualify the effort as above average.

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When Revell is inserted into these comic book-like sci-fi situations, he has proven highly unpredictable. On one hand, he can write a rather uninteresting action score like Titan A.E., but then he surprises with an innovative operatic space score for Red Planet on the other. His comparable space-faring music seems to fall closer to the average kind of non-descript orchestral meanderings heard in his television score for the Dune remake in 2000. To his credit, Revell successfully gives listeners the feeling that he wanted The Chronicles of Riddick to be bigger and badder than that usual norm, flexing musical muscles equivalent to Vin Diesel's with a group of Los Angeles musicians and some choral extras. The result is a loud and ambitious score in parts, complete with thematic development (led by frequent references to the three note phrases of the primary idea) and decent fight cues ("One Speed" is a highlight) that will rock your walls with brass and percussive power. Unfortunately, the same ambition leads to a tangle of noise for much of the score, with the main theme weak in memorability, the choir mixed poorly, and the score's action sequences painting a canvas just as jumbled and unauthentic as the CGI on screen. That main theme (arguably representing the Necromongers in the story) begins promisingly in the opening cue, complete with nifty electronically enhanced rhythms, but its performances throughout the score (such as in "Necromongers") are unconvincing in separating the motif from the rest of the wall of action sound. The choral sequences are difficult to enjoy as well, perhaps because they sound electronically generated (or at least electronically altered) and perhaps because they are not meant to add harmony to the chords of the overall equation. A single uncredited female voice flies solo in parts, including nearly graceful performances in "The Animal Side" and "Aereon Fortells" (speaking of Aereon, what the hell is Judi Dench doing in this film? Will Vin Diesel do Shakespeare next?). But the difficult choral passages are summarized by "Furyan Energy," which is nearly painful in its awkward mixing and disharmony. Slightly exotic shades, as in "Arrival at Helion," betray the unique instrumental colors with lazy applications. Even at the very end, when the action music in the credits suddenly stops abruptly, you're left with a nagging feeling that there is very little cohesion to this score. On the whole, The Chronicles of Riddick has great intentions in individual cues, and it occasionally provides stirring action rhythms, but it stumbles over its own feet for much of its running time and offers few new ideas for veteran film music ears to enjoy. *** Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Graeme Revell reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 2.74 (in 19 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 2.72 (in 15,560 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 2.91 Stars
Smart Average: 2.92 Stars*
***** 114 
**** 129 
*** 202 
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    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
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   the movie
  rigatony -- 3/15/05 (7:01 p.m.)
   Alternative review of The Chronicles of Rid...
  Jonathan Broxton -- 8/31/04 (7:14 a.m.)
   Re: need Graeme Revell music
  Levente Benedek -- 7/13/04 (1:01 p.m.)
   Re: Pleasantly surprised
  P.A. -- 7/2/04 (4:00 p.m.)
   need Graeme Revell music
  greg -- 6/21/04 (3:27 p.m.)
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 Track Listings: Total Time: 47:58

• 1. The Chronicles of Riddick (2:44)
• 2. Hunt for Riddick (4:44)
• 3. Vaako Conspiracy (3:19)
• 4. One Speed (3:08)
• 5. The Sweet Spot (1:29)
• 6. The Animal Side (0:54)
• 7. Arrival at Helion (1:11)
• 8. Save My Family (1:19)
• 9. Kyra's Theme (1:22)
• 10. Helion Attack Pt. 2 (1:13)
• 11. Imam's Death (1:46)
• 12. Necromongers (1:24)
• 13. Show You the Way (2:00)
• 14. Hellhounds (2:18)
• 15. Pop the Cock (1:35)
• 16. The Slam (2:43)
• 17. Furyan Energy (1:00)
• 18. The Purifiers End (3:21)
• 19. Aereon Fortells (1:51)
• 20. Final Betrayals (1:55)
• 21. Keep What You Kill (2:33)
• 22. End Credit - Final Chronicle (4:02)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert includes a list of performers but no extra information about the score or film.

  All artwork and sound clips from The Chronicles of Riddick are Copyright © 2004, Varèse Sarabande. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 6/9/04 and last updated 9/23/11. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2004-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.