Review Summary: It would be a sin to give it a miss.
The intensity and macarbe to a film like Se7en is a life-time achievement. A movie that left such a unqiue stamp on Hollywood, its gritty noir style has been tried and replicated ever since its release in 1995. A completely flawless crime/thriller with one of the greatest build-ups, before its explosive conclusion, is something you don't come across often, and for that it became an instant classic of its time. However, the amazing cinematography, acting, directing, writing -- it wouldn't be worth half as much as it is now if it wasn't for Howard Shore's harrowing contributions to Se7en. A score like this is composed so well, it garners a life of its own. The music is so well written, when listening to it you can smell the damp; the stuffy, dark dust filled rooms; feel the rust; the rain running onto your body; the music is so powerful and ominous, it morphes you into Se7en's bleak world the instant you hit the play button.
This isn't an adreniline fuelled gunfight, it's a slow building crescendo; something that gets right under your skin and tries to keep you up at night. Tracks like "Greed" and "Gluttony" sound so sinister and eerie they leave you feeling uneasy the whole way through. The screeching metal sounds that slowly graze against the scores main melodic line throughout the record is chilling, and sets a perfectly consistent tone throughout. The score doesn't try and flex much musical muscle, and things rarely pop out at you. It's a score similar to that of The Shining or Silence of the Lambs: intent on breaking your psyche than give you a couple of cheap thrills. But even though the soundtrack sticks to the same template throughout, with its brooding ambiance, it does have a few beautiful moments and surprises. The opening track is one I don't recognise from the film, and is a gental, more optomistic piece of music that welcomes the listener with open arms, before entering the storm that lies ahead. The much more orchistrated "Sloth", with its marching rhythms, is still one of the scores highlight moments, and one that pumps the heart rate up a little bit before slithering back into its low key position again. While the closing track "Wraith" is one of complete tension building, and a great way to end the soundtrack.
The question remains, does the score work well on its own? Despite my full enjoyment of this remastered release, (which sees the score getting an overhaul in sound, containing a lot more clarity to the songs than of its original iteration) it isn't for everyone. Indeed, soundtracks are generally based around a certain sequence of notes, with little variations here and there. And, as with any soundtrack like that, it isn't for everyone. It's a subtle record, and one that uses repitition as its main ingreidient. But at just over one hour of play time, this could leave some a little exhausted by the end of it. Still, this is a timeless soundtrack, and one that really trajects the film into a league of its own. But even on its own this thing still brings a staggering level of craftmanship and quality, and this rerelease should not be missed by anyone who loves this film, or music of this sort.
EDITIONS: CD, M̶P̶3̶
PACKAGING: DIGIPAK- 8 Panel, with a booklet containing insight into the making of the score.
SPECIAL EDITION: N/A