Evil Dead – Music by Roque Baños
La-La Land Records – 2013
The score for the remake of Evil Dead is carried out with wondrous skill and real compositional flair. Rogue Baños does a masterful job of getting the Pro Arte Orchestra and the BTG Chapel Choir to perform on the highest level.
No matter how you feel about this latest version of Evil Dead (I thought it was strong, the most violent movie I’ve ever seen a major studio release), there’s no denying the power of this new score. I was impressed with the softer moments in “I’ll Rip Your Soul Out” as much as the bombastic screaming horns, wall of choir voices and big drum hits. This shows Baños’ control of his craft and speaks highly of both his versatility and music knowledge.
The piano in “Sad Memories” stirs the heart with spread out notes creating tenderness of the main character’s serious drug problem. The strings underline a creepiness that dwells not far off in the shadows, itching to break free and wreak havoc.
Baños engineers the strings to flutter in “Don’t Say It, Don’t Write It, Don’t Hear It” in a way that makes me think of The Shining. The real quiet, almost silent part of this cue is incredibly tense because there are voices whispering and the subtle orchestral touches make it suspenseful.
The ascending strings in combo with the chorus voices in “Demon Possession (extended)” will put you on the edge before you get shoved off when the horns and drums impact like a charging rhino. It caused me to jump in my seat as I was straining to listen to the low volume sounds and got suddenly walloped like a sledge hammer to the head when the big orchestra hit. There’s another moment like this in the middle of “Get Me Out of Here”, which reminded me a bit of Creature From the Black Lagoon or Jeepers Creepers.
Speaking of brass instrumentation, the trumpets and other horns scream out in “She Tried To Kill Me.” Baños also pushes the brass to the max in “Bloody Kiss.” In this eighth cue, I love the deep low horn instrument, which delivers substantial weight and force.
The bright snapping sound in “Three Ways of Saving Her Soul”, bites like a venomous snake.
The orchestra purrs softly in the beginning of “Natalie Hunting,” which changes mid-way through in both volume and intensity. The acoustic siren is most definitely an eerie addition. It was fascinating reading Baños linear notes why he used the siren. The same approach is taken in the longest track “I’ll Do What I Gotta Do (extended)”, which hits a peak half-in. The trumpet pattern during the last quarter is real catchy and passionate.
My favorite track has to be “Come Back To Me.” This is the powerful music used when David (Shiloh Fernandez) tries saving his sister Mia (Jane Levy) by attempting to get her heart started again after burying her. This is definitely the most important moment in the entire film and the music supports it.
Baños scores “He’s Coming” with aggressive thrust propelling the musical story forward with relentless intensity. I love the way the orchestra builds to a fever pitch and then dissipates into the either. The choir voices take over to make the track even more potent.
“Abominations Rising “sounds like a tornado of evil raging across the soundscape. The orchestra extends down like a funnel cloud touching to the ground, with the choir fueling the spinning vortex of evil. Voices speak, cry out and shout representing the demons that run amuck in the film. The strings work franticly in the best John Williams fashion and then that acoustic siren puts the topper on creating all out terror. It’s fun, creepy and sounds absolutely amazing. This easily qualifies as my second favorite track of this score.
I love the way Baños dances with “The Pendant / Evil Tango” as he gets the music to flow with the orchestra leading the choir to move in a ballroom dance pattern, while still retaining the horrific aspects of this film.
The psychological center of Evil Dead is captured in this beautiful piano rendition of “The Evil Dead Main Title.”
This soundtrack wraps up with “Come Back To Me (alternate)”, a composition that dives into the film’s emotional crest with a gentle grip on the film’s heartstring.
Rogue Baños has created an outstanding piece of work that will definitely be lauded by all film scoring listeners. ‘I’d best describe the Spanish music composer as a cross between Jerry Goldsmith, Elliot Goldenthal and Christopher Young. He has deep roots in the pillars of movie music, yet he’s not duplicating anyone or any film in particular. It all comes across rather naturally and makes me excited about not only this magnificent score for Evil Dead but his work to come.
La-La Land Records have done another stellar job with this soundtrack. The packaging, artwork, quotes from the main people behind this film all lend credence into this score. I also appreciated the considerable 71 ½ minute running time, which gave me lots of time to enjoy this standout work.
I’m quite confident that this will end up as one of the best of 2013.