Brian Reitzell
Hannibal - Season 3 - Vol 1



by Simon K. STAFF
May 10th, 2020 | 8 replies

Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: "Madness can be a medicine for the modern world. You take it in moderation, it's beneficial."

It’s a crisp, sunny Sunday morning. I’m sat listening to the latter portion of Brian Reitzell’s prodigious Hannibal Soundtrack on my turntable, with a fresh cup of hot coffee in my hand, when I arrive at “Digestivo Pt 2”: the emotional peak of Season 3: Volume 1. I’m caught in a deluge of emotions, revering over the show’s genius and infallible accomplishments, whilst simultaneously lamenting over its cancellation; the yearning for a continuation on from Season 3’s spectacular conclusion, and the realisation that it’s probably never going to happen now that the TV show Clarice is set in motion. “Digestivo Pt 2” is synonymous with Season 2: Volume 2’s “Bloodfest (from Mizumono)” – a kindred spirit that continues to lend Bach’s “Goldberg Variation” with a whole new meaning. “Bloodfest (from Mizumono)” stands to intensify the poignancy and drama found within the episode’s conclusive reveal: an undercurrent of hazy, agonising swells that relay the characters’ emotional torments – and the betrayal of finding out who Hannibal really is to us perfectly. “Mizumono” is one of the most harrowingly beautiful moments in TV history, and through its flawless writing and patient pace, it inevitably brings the impact of its reveal to unparalleled heights.

The brilliance of “Digestivo Pt 2” is just as noteworthy, though. Where “Bloodfest (from Mizumono)” guiltily basks in the perfidy of Hannibal’s actions, soaking in the blood of its victims’ gaping lacerations, “Digestivo Pt 2” stands to heal and mend the wounds with that very same chord sequence. For anyone who’s gone through the show will know, the mid-section of Season 3 is a turning point for both Will and Hannibal; it’s the moment that unveils their fragile relationship for what it is: no smoke and mirrors, just acceptance for who and what these troubled people are. “Digestivo Pt 2”’s deceiving opening of defensive, screeching stings and foreboding airy ambiences are eventually met with a mournful apology. Its execution continues to remind me of Reitzell’s prowess and just how ingrained he is in this show. Hannibal Soundtrack is one big inimitable journey that meticulously exhibits and translates Hannibal’s key traits perfectly via sound: extravagant class, labyrinthian complexity, and a duality with the grotesque and the beautiful.

Season 3: Volume 1 in particular is incrementally different to its peers, in that it isn’t just haunting ambiences, ethereal paranoia, or serene tranquillity – of which it still has, and does, these things as well. No, Season 3: Volume 1 has a couple of curveballs that bring some semblance of distinction to the forefront. The swooning introduction of “Bach Goldberg Variation Aria Pt 1” is a staple piece for Fannibals and an excellent nod to the series as a whole, but it really sets the tone here perfectly. “Snake Charmer (feat Marc Almond) from Aperitivo” is a rather arbitrary attack on the perfectly preserved aristocracy being conveyed here, but its hissing high-hats and hypnotic middle-eastern flair mixed with rock ‘n’ roll makes it an undeniably fun track to listen to. While the boy soprano centric “Allelujah (Mozart) from The Great Red Dragon” adds a bizarre twist to the score’s usual comportment. Bar these spikes in variation, the soundtrack maintains its hold on densely vivid sounds of the macabre, using an omnipotent arsenal of exotic instruments from around the globe and thus making Reitzell’s compositions so distinct and effective. Wind instruments that billow over the hairs on the back of your neck, shrieking string instruments that rattle your psyche, and gorgeous synths and piano that balance out the overwhelming dread.

Overall, like Reitzell’s five other instalments to this wonderful score, Season 3: Volume 1 is a psychological interrogation that really puts you in the thick of it all. What makes this one that little bit more colourful stems from the aforementioned tracks that make it a little less cohesive, but it’s a give and take that makes it great in a different kind of way. If you haven’t watched the show, I urge you to dive into its idiosyncratic world, it really is like nothing else. Equally, the soundtrack is exactly the same: there isn’t anything quite like it. Reitzell combines contemporary songwriting with classical in a way that isn’t gimmicky but a compromise of strength from both sides.


PACKAGING: Sicilian vanilla vinyl and gatefold, containing various stills from the show.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Staff Reviewer
May 10th 2020


Album Rating: 4.8

been a while since i've done a review (due to a lack of releases), so i thought i'd do this.

after hearing about the awful news Clarice is getting a greenlight and not season 4, i decided to dive into these works of art again.

Staff Reviewer
May 10th 2020


Great review, what a pleasant surprise to see a Hannibal score review

This show is transcendent, a miracle that was too good for network television

Staff Reviewer
May 10th 2020


Album Rating: 4.8

Thanks chan.

And agreed, it’s a very special show. Pains me they’ve dropped it for a new show that has a big set of shoes to fill. Especially when Fuller was looking at the silence of the lambs stuff in future seasons anyway...

May 10th 2020


nice review. brilliant series.

May 10th 2020


Great review. Great series. Finished it again this week. There sure are a lot of serial Killers in Hannibal world though. The season 2 score is fantastic too.
'Its only cannibalism if we're equals'


May 10th 2020


squeel little piggie squeeeeelll

Digging: Zach Bryan - Elisabeth

May 10th 2020


God s3 of this show really was batshit crazy.

Digging: Kenny Mason - Angelic Hoodrat

May 11th 2020


they took it off netflix in my country god damn it

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