iTunes (U.S.)
eBay (U.S.)
Glisten Effect
Editorial Reviews
Scoreboard Forum
Viewer Ratings
         1. Gladiator
        2. Batman
       3. Nightmare Before Christmas
      4. Titanic
     5. Justice League
    6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
   7. Harry Potter: Sorcerer's Stone
  8. Maleficent
 9. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
10. Edward Scissorhands
Home Page
10,000 BC
Album Cover Art
Co-Composed and Produced by:
Harald Kloser

Additional Music by:
Thomas Wanker
Thomas Schobel

Co-Orchestrated and Conducted by:
James Brett

Co-Orchestrated by:
Marcus Trumpp
David Brandstaetter

Performed by:
The London Metropolitan Orchestra
Labels Icon
Decca Records
(March 11th, 2008)
Availability Icon
Regular U.S. release.
Also See Icon

Decorative Nonsense
(inverts site colors)

   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you appreciate raucous ear candy for what it is, with bold orchestral melodies and brutal percussive and vocal rhythms pushing all the right "guilty pleasure" buttons.

Avoid it... if you cannot tolerate hearing Hans Zimmer's King Arthur rearranged into an African adventure score, for 10,000 BC is among the more controversial subjects of plagiarism discussion to exist in the film score community.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 11/23/10
Shopping Icon

10,000 BC: (Harald Kloser/Thomas Wanker) Racist? Perhaps. Stupid? Definitely. Little positive can be said about Roland Emmerich's 2008 prehistoric mishap titled 10,000 BC. It basically tells of a disgraced hunter of the Ural mountain region who has to assemble the tribes of Africa to rescue a kidnapped woman of another tribe in his homeland and defeat the nasty, enslaving forces of "civilized" ancient Egypt. Unfortunately, he's a white dude, the girl is white with blue eyes that are key to her mystical survival, and all of the brutes who need organized are black men. As such, 10,000 BC was the target of claims of racism at its debut, a problem only compounded when critics absolutely blasted the film for a plethora of other faults. Nobody expected Emmerich, this generation's master of disaster, to direct, write, and produce a masterpiece, but the mind-boggling quantity of poor special effects shots, historical inaccuracies, insanely bad dialogue, and ridiculously slow pacing made 10,000 BC even worse than anyone could have anticipated. Its only redeeming aspects are narration from Omar Sharif, who must have taken a break from his head-butting exercises for this occasion, and the improvement of the effects in time for a few encapsulating shots of a pyramid being built and destroyed at the climax of the picture. Audiences didn't seem to mind this brainless entertainment, eventually turning the $100 million production into $300 million in theatre and home video grosses. Among the more generically pleasing elements of the picture for the mainstream was its soundtrack, a collaborative effort between Harald Kloser, Thomas Wanker, and Thomas Schobel. Kloser and Wanker had become Emmerich's replacement for David Arnold in The Day After Tomorrow and would go on to reprise the partnership for 2012. In the case of Kloser, 10,000 BC also represented a screenwriting debut, a humiliating effort (which would have been better if the superior whites in the story didn't speak English!) that didn't deter Emmerich from allowing the composer to co-write 2012 as well. Kloser's composing partner was in the process of moving to England and changing his name from Wanker to Wander, neither of which particularly appealing in English. And Schobel, a Kloser associate, impressed the production with a variety of primal percussive sounds that afforded him some co-compositional credit in the end. The vocal talents of Joel Virgel early in the production process of the score earned him the role of a tribal leader in the film.

Hans Zimmer wasn't a member of the team for 10,000 BC, but he may as well have gotten some credit at the end of the day as well. More on that issue will come later in this review. For a casual listener not concerned with the history of film scores, 10,000 BC is easily the best musical achievement in the early Emmerich/Kloser collaborations. Unlike The Day After Tomorrow and 2012, the richly textured 10,000 BC is engagingly melodic and contains the kind of unique orchestrations absent from the other scores. The first music conceived for the picture represents the primordial, source-like chants of the African tribes, courtesy Schobel's percussion and Virgel's vocals. These sequences (as heard on album in "Opening," "Celebration," and "Food") meet the expectations of regional stereotypes without being particularly tacky, but they still translate into the album's most challenging moments. The second major part of the score for 10,000 BC is its unrestrained orchestral lyricism. The broadly majestic symphonic sway of the score's two major themes yields several moments of notice in the film. The primary theme for the protagonist is an optimistic representation of fluid movement that's as easy to digest as anything you'll hear in popcorn-ready film music. Heard first in "Speech," this theme simmers late in "I Was Not Brave" (highlighted by gorgeous ethnic woodwind), shows signs of redemptive life for the full ensemble in "Lead Them," and unleashes a monumental performance with bold counterpoint in "Sea of Sand." The idea is expressed at great length in "The End" and "10,000 BC/End Credits," likely the two most impressive tracks for casual listeners of the album. The theme actually has three distinct phrases, interchanged and overlapped at will. The main phrase is the most frequently stated portion of the theme, utilized in every circumstance and ending each section of its progression with three distinctly descending notes. A phantom "A" phrase that sometimes precedes this theme is unfortunately underplayed in 10,000 BC, a John Debney-like fantasy progression heard at 1:25 into "Sea of Sand" and at 0:45 into "10,000 BC/End Credits." The main phrase that follows often utilizes an underlying rhythmic device on strings that sometimes branches out on its own. Debuting at about 0:40 into "Speech" and lending gravity at 1:00 into "The End," the idea is accelerated at 1:30 into "10,000 BC/End Credits" and becomes its own separate phrase within the theme. Its ability to generate momentum within a cue makes it an invaluable partner to the main theme.

Ratings Icon
Average: 2.87 Stars
***** 22 5 Stars
**** 34 4 Stars
*** 34 3 Stars
** 34 2 Stars
* 32 1 Stars
  (View results for all titles)

Comments Icon
Read All Start New Thread Search Comments
Interesting review   Expand >>
Dave Norlin - February 4, 2011, at 9:22 a.m.
3 comments  (1939 views)
Newest: February 5, 2011, at 9:34 a.m. by
Dave Norlin

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 49:04
• 1. Opening (2:43)
• 2. Mountain of the Gods (1:56)
• 3. Speech (3:01)
• 4. Evolet (2:44)
• 5. Mannak Hunt (2:08)
• 6. Celebration (1:29)
• 7. I Was Not Brave (1:48)
• 8. Night of the Tiger (1:37)
• 9. Lead Them (2:28)
• 10. Terror Birds (3:22)
• 11. Wounded Hunter (1:51)
• 12. Food (1:59)
• 13. Good-Byes (1:13)
• 14. Sea of Sand (2:41)
• 15. Wise Man (1:40)
• 16. He Was My Father (1:05)
• 17. Mark of the Hunter (2:45)
• 18. Free the Mannaks (1:47)
• 19. Not a God (2:35)
• 20. You Came For Me (2:06)
• 21. The End (3:18)
• 22. 10,000 BC/End Credits (2:55)

Notes Icon
The insert includes a note from Kloser about his involvement with the film and the contributions of others to the score.
Copyright © 2010-2020, 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 10,000 BC are Copyright © 2008, Decca Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 11/23/10 (and not updated significantly since).
Reviews Preload Scoreboard decoration Ratings Preload Composers Preload Awards Preload Home Preload Search Preload