CD Review: THE DARK TOWER (Motion Picture Soundtrack by Tom Holkenborg)

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by Tony Frankel on October 1, 2017



At turns surreptitious, ethereal, creepy, bold, spidery, wistful and dystopian, Tom Holkenborg’s soundtrack to The Dark Tower mixes traditional filmic orchestrations with an electronica edge, always offering an astoundingly moody, evocative, dramatic soundscape. There are no keyboardists or percussionists listed among the 88 orchestra players, so credit the four orchestrators—Jonathan Beard, Edward Trybek, Henri Wilkinson, and Holkenberg—for that pulsating, pounding, electronic rush without the use of synthesizers or percussion instruments. While there’s a lot of interesting stuff going on here, not much sticks.

Holkenborg was given many genres at once: The Dark Tower, based on Stephen King’s books, has elements of science fiction, horror, fantasy and Western, but he hasn’t created a convincing mash-up (the main titles only mimic Western). And doing the math, 29 tracks run a total of 67 minutes, that means most cuts last around 2 minutes more or less; as a listening experience, it’s a bit musicus interruptus. While anyone can appreciate that some of the tracks make for a harrowing, fascinating listening experience (out on CD August 18, 2017), all the Sturm und Drang is no doubt better-suited for watching the film (a film which—two months after its release—is clocking in at 16% on the Tomatometer at Rotten Tomatoes).

The Dark Tower
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
29 tracks | 66:42
released on CD August 28, 2017
available at Amazon and iTunes

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