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Comments about the soundtrack for Flesh + Blood (Basil Poledouris)

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Not very true!
• Posted by: Nick
• Date: Saturday, January 15, 2005, at 4:07 p.m.
• IP Address:

Whenever I read a review for this score, the reviewer always mentions the Conan scores. Not a big surprise. After all, this is also a sword (without the sorcery) film and score. However, the reviewers also say that this score is merely an extension of the Conan music. In a word: WRONG!

This score is an entity in itself. Conan had a much rougher sound to it whereas this score is highly polished and a little more modern. Conan seemed to use certain orchestral sections little less. With Conan Poledouris tended to lean toward the brass, woodwinds, and percussion, but relied on the strings for #####ce, texture and melodies that were more reflective. However, with Flesh + Blood, Poledouris seems to bring up the string usage in the action cues and also lower the amount of percussion, which I think is wonderful for any composer to do. This score has a much smoother sound due to its lower amount of percussion. That way, when any DOES come in, it leaves a lasting impression, not to say that it didn't in Barbarian or Destroyer, but it's a much different listening experience.

Also, this film has a much more 'ethnic' sound to it. There is a folk sound here in many of the cues that give it a slightly smaller sound than Conan, but believe me it's not a bad thing. Conan was constantly going for an epic sound, but this score is more balanced overall. There are many more beauty cues in this score than on Conan. And I can easily say that Martin and Agnes' love theme as well as the one for Steven and Agnes are much better than "Wifeing" from Conan the Barbarian.

I bought this score expecting an extension of the Conan scores, but I was surprised (and elated) to find that this score is completely independent of any scores set in the Hyborean Era. This time, it's 1501 and it may actually be better than Conan.

Basically, stop calling this an extension of Conan. Similar genre, but this one has a MUCH different sound. Conan was rough and brutal, which Flesh + Blood contains but with much more beauty in my opinion. There are synthesizers, there is much more thematic weaving, and the main theme is performed with much more energy. I've never been able to choose which score I like better between this one and Conan, which is actually not a good thing because they don't sound much alike at all. It's due to the reviewers' constant mention of Conan that these two scores are even mentioned in the same sentence. They are about matched as far as quality, but that is where the similarities end. When listening to this score, forget about Conan. Let Flesh + Blood be what it really is - a truly beautiful and moving orchestral tour de force not really that much in the way of Conan.

Comments in this Thread:     Expand >>
  •   Not very true!  (3740 views)    We're Here
       Nick - Saturday, January 15, 2005, at 4:07 p.m.
    •    Stupid Glitch!  (3633 views)
         Nick - Saturday, January 15, 2005, at 4:09 p.m.

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