Monday, December 15, 2008

Basil Poledouris - Conan The Barbarian OST (album review)

Conan The Barbarian. What could be cooler? I'll tell you what, and I'll tell you that it's the original motion picture soundtrack to the movie of the same name.

Basil Poledouris (Greek much?) creates a sonic realm so complete, one is drawn into it simply because they have no choice. Every measure of music found here makes one feel like they are on a mountain, hoisting a sword into the air as a show of great triumph over pretty much, well, everything in the world.

Take the track "Riddles Of Steel, Riders Of Doom": It builds so slowly, PAINFULLY slowly, but you don't want it to stop. Basil has given you a riddle and you want the damn answer. Halfway through the track, it perfectly transitions into exactly what being a Rider Of Doom would, and should, sound like. The pace quickens, and the choir sings as if they were telling a tale of great men, riding into great adventure, for great reasons. Which of course they are.

Another gem is "Wheel Of Pain". If you're ever forced to push a huge fucking wheel around for years and years until you become insanely muscle-bound and full of hate, this track will surely be playing while you do so. Again, Poledouris' use of tempo in both melody and percussion is perfect. The feel is beyond grueling and forlorn; when the end comes it leaves you feeling satisfied even though there is a great task at hand.

Then there are the samples of dialogue found scattered throughout. I'm not going to sit here and quote them all to you. I'll simply tell you that if you listen to them and don't find them to be awesome that you should and probably will die of pure weakness.

With 35 tracks on this thing, I could sit here and write stuff about this non-stop jam all day. But I won't. I'll just say that if you enjoy the sound of adventure combined with the rhythms of toil, the sound of longing, and a feeling of wonder, find this album and let it take you to its distant land of primal majesty.

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