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Section Header
World War Z
Composed and Co-Produced by:
Marco Beltrami

Co-Orchestrated and Conducted by:
Matt Dunkley

Co-Orchestrated by:
David Foster
Jake Parker

Additional Music by:
Buck Sanders
Marcus Trumpp
Brandon Roberts

Co-Produced by:
John Finklea

Warner Brothers Records

Release Date:
June 18th, 2013

Also See:
I, Robot
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
The Thing

Audio Clips:
1. Philadelphia (0:29):
WMA (191K)  MP3 (239K)
Real Audio (168K)

3. Ninja Quiet (0:29):
WMA (191K)  MP3 (239K)
Real Audio (168K)

10. Wales (0:32):
WMA (213K)  MP3 (269K)
Real Audio (189K)

1. A River Around a Rock (0:30):
WMA (202K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

Regular U.S. release. The CD was initially offered for $10, nearly the same cost as the download option. A vinyl release followed for $23.


World War Z
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Buy it... if you appreciate Marco Beltrami's typically strong applications of instruments to yield dissonant ends, his rhythmic and textural tendencies producing an adequate atmosphere of dread with a few token moments of cleanly harmonic respite.

Avoid it... if you require more than a predictable blend of Beltrami's own brooding, Hans Zimmer's Inception, and Paul Haslinger's Underworld in this apocalyptic context.

World War Z: (Marco Beltrami/Various) Despite re-writes to the film's latter half that delayed its release significantly, critical and popular response to World War Z has been surprisingly positive. A Brad Pitt produced vehicle in which Pitt is shown saving the planet from a zombie apocalypse, World War Z is actually an attempt to make a serious movie out of the zombie genre. Conveying the global realities of what would happen if a pandemic did somehow turn people into zombies upon being bitten by one, the story postulates about governmental and civilian responses to such an outbreak. Pitt is a former United Nations employee taking the lead on discovering where the problem originated, traveling the world on that mission and staying just one step ahead of those seeking to take a bite out his glorious ass. Never mind the logical fallacies and other inconceivable coincidences that occur in the story. After all, it is a zombie movie at its core, so it doesn't hurt to turn off the brain. The quick popularity of the adaptation of Max Brooks' concept led Paramount to almost immediately announce plans for two sequels, a possibility left conveniently open by the conclusion of World War Z's plot. Drawn into the fray is horror-master Marco Beltrami, the composer whose career in the genre has been prolific despite lacking individual masterpieces in that lot. His comfortable blend of orchestral and electronic elements is an easy match for this type of film, the organics of the symphony overwhelmed by synthetic tones to match the impending doom of society at the hands and teeth of the zombies. One could go back to Beltrami's work in the early 2000's for movies such as I, Robot and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines to get a sense of how he would continue to adapt his horror moulds into the large-scale battles between humanity and the instruments of its destruction. In the case of World War Z, he enlisted the help of several assistants (led by Buck Sanders, as always) to largely continue developing sounds familiar to his career and those of others who have been leading the way in perpetuating decidedly "dark" film music trends. Listeners will hear an interesting combination of three musical forces at war in this score: Beltrami's own harshly rendered rhythmic tones, Hans Zimmer's broadly executed, bass-dwelling exhibits of force, and Paul Haslinger's typical, industrial metal ambience of brutality. In fact, don't be surprised if you are reminded of Zimmer's Inception and Haslinger's Underworld several times during World War Z.

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One has to wonder if Beltrami and his crew would have been better served by straying closer to the industrial influences of the latter for the context of such a uniform apocalypse. The organic portion of the mix for World War Z is never convincingly played, the orchestra often present but not the defining characteristic of the music outside of its ability to create rough rhythms and an ambient dissonance that might have been better achieved with strictly electronic elements. The presence of an electric guitar as a discomforting background performer in even the score's most palatable symphonic portions is easily evident. The sound design of World War Z is really what drives this score, the thumping electronics and meandering haze of discontent tuned to whatever rhythm Beltrami is hashing through with the orchestra. There are ostinatos of John Powell origin to be heard here, of course, but despite some critical references to connections between the Jason Bourne and World War Z chase mechanisms, Beltrami seems far happier thrashing through standard horror techniques than using contemporary chase rhythms. To that point, you'll hear everything from stereotypical stingers ("Hand Off") to the heartbeat-like thumps of Ennio Morricone's The Thing ("Like a River Around a Rock," not surprising given Beltrami's work on the remake). A tremendous amount of unpleasantness with Christopher Young precision marks the heightened suspense moments, though outright action does seem to degenerate into basic pounding at times. Thematically, Beltrami is not negligent of the compelling side of the storyline. He applies two themes to World War Z, one for the individual warmth of humanity and the other for the larger plight for survival. The former uses the deep piano thuds and a similar progression to the theme at the end of Haslinger's Underworld and is featured in "The Lane Family" and "Wales." The latter is built around a rising three-note structure of hope that bursts out of the darkness in the middle of "The Salvation Gates" and closes out the score in "Like a River Around a Rock" (after mingling with the other theme near the very end). The conclusions to the final two album tracks offer an almost awkward amount of relief, reflecting the sudden shift in tone at the end of Beltrami's Scream 3, the "Wales" cue in particular presenting a brief snippet of harmonious choral beauty. Regardless of this respite, however, World War Z is a frightfully generic tackling of the concept, even considering Beltrami's intelligent orchestral applications. There is very little narrative development in the work, and its textures and ambience seem recycled more often than not. As such, you get a work that bores you far more than it should, a disappointment in any "end of the world" context. *** Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Marco Beltrami reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 2.73 (in 22 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 2.79 (in 15,925 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 2.63 Stars
Smart Average: 2.78 Stars*
***** 13 
**** 33 
*** 53 
** 43 
* 42 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.
  Edward -- 7/7/13 (1:32 p.m.)
Read All | Add New Post | Search | Help  

 Track Listings: Total Time: 44:20

• 1. Philadelphia (4:06)
• 2. The Lane Family (2:47)
• 3. Ninja Quiet (2:54)
• 4. Searching for Clues (5:33)
• 5. NJ Mart (4:01)
• 6. Zombies in Coach (3:43)
• 7. Hand Off! (2:49)
• 8. No Teeth, No Bite (3:25)
• 9. The Salvation Gate (4:24)
• 10. Wales (5:22)
• 11. A River Around a Rock (5:08)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The insert includes a list of performers but no extra information about the score or film. It also makes the point of stating that Warner Brothers Records takes recycling seriously. A smaller insert card contained within the packaging advertises a download option for material written by "Muse" for the film (not contained on the score-only album), as well as remixes of score cues.

  All artwork and sound clips from World War Z are Copyright © 2013, Warner Brothers Records. 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 7/4/13 (and not updated significantly since). Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2013-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.