Review Summary: One of the most original sounding scores for a zombie-themed medium in years.
While most television shows, movies, and video games centered on the living dead are set after a zombie Armageddon in a post-apocalyptic world that follows, French television show Les Revenants takes place in a world where the dead have risen from the graves, but society has not crumbled or even come to a halt. The show is a spin on the idea of what the dead will do if they come back. As opposed to devouring the population, they try to resume their lives as the normal citizens they once were, and end up facing the inevitable despair and anguish to come with the hardships of adjusting and adapting to a world now foreign to them, and one in which they are viewed as anything but normal at that.
This makes post-rock definers Mogwai all the more suited to compose an original score to this show rather than the metal music that commonly goes along with most zombie-related mediums, as Mogwai are well known for their deliberate compositions and experimental mentality that are both attributes akin to the unconventional premise of the show and the drawn-out fate of the characters in the Les Revenants’ universe. This isn’t Mogwai’s first rodeo when it comes to composing original scores, and they show once again that they know exactly what they are doing because of how skillfully they can orchestrate cues. The cues on the Les Revenants OST
are the kind that have deadly precision, but never feel too obvious or forced. When the music isn't displaying a calming sorrow, conveying hints of subtle black humor (as per usual for Mogwai), or exposing an almost quirky moodiness, it ominously lingers while opting to never reveal all its assets at once, and achieves a suspenseful effect in how it keeps listeners unsure and uneasy, as opposed to giving itself away.
The Les Revenants OST
is actually the closest thing to ambient music Mogwai have ever made. It’s very unlike the group’s previous studio albums and previous scores in that there really aren’t any bombastic elements or moments of crescendo that the group is known, and often criticized for. This music really discards Mogwai’s typical formula comprised of buildups and majestic grandeur. Mogwai still composes the massive soundscapes they’re fond of, but they take a different approach here: the music on the Les Revenants OST
gains its mass by spreading itself out instead of building itself up and going over the top. This makes for unique score tracks that spread very much like a zombie virus; infecting and consuming as they grow.
Mogwai has managed to make a score that showcases the abilities and styles that listeners would expect from the group, but in different approach from what listeners would predict of them. The Les Revenants OST
is a frostbitten and unnerving venture into a world struck with lethargic disarray, and Mogwai’s tense soundtrack makes the journey all the more vivid and intimate, while defying assumptions about the structure of the group's music at the same time.