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300 by Tyler Bates


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300 (Special Edition Soundtrack) by Tyler Bates

300 Digipak Soundtrack (2007)
Composed by Tyler Bates
Warner Bros/ WEA Records

Rating: 7/10

Buy 300 by Tyler Bates  from Amazon.com


Listen to this soundclip of 300_:  The Story of a MurdererTo Victory (285 kb)

Listen to this soundclip of 300_:  The Story of a MurdererTonight We Dine in Hell (347 kb)

Listen to this soundclip of 300_:  The Story of a MurdererRemember Us (471 kb)

More clips from 300 at Amazon.com


300 (Soundtrack) by Tyler Bates

300 Original Soundtrack (2007)
Composed by Tyler Bates
Warner Bros/ WEA Records

300 (Soundtrack) by Tyler Bates  from Amazon.com


“If any listener is not prepared for an audio assault of the third kind, that listener may find their ears laying, bloodied and vanquished upon the ground.”

Cinematic Metal
by Christopher Coleman

Since mid-2006, there were rumblings of a new kind of movie on the horizon.  In 2005, director Robert Rodriguez produced his visionary film, SIN CITY, based on the Frank Miller graphic novel and now director Zack Snyder was positioned to push the visual-envelope even further with his project, 300, again founded on the work of Frank Miller.  Since then, much ado has been made about the director's strong visual aesthetic for the film... and rightly so.  Without a doubt, 300 is a film that truly bombards one's ocular organs, but Snyder didn't stop there.  Brought on to match the visual intensity of this film was composer Tyler Bates.

Having earned moderate recognition for his previous work for DAWN OF THE DEAD and THE DEVIL'S REJECTS, Tyler Bates moves into the true mainstream-spotlight with his score for 300.  The score released by Warner Brothers Records is easily the boldest of the first quarter of 2007 and it is likely it will remain unchallenged, in that regard, through the balance of the year.  Zack Snyder's theatrical-vision of Frank Miller's comic would not have reached its full testosterone-laden-potential if it were not for Tyler Bates' gargantuanly grungy music.   Ranging from expansive, orchestral pieces to "technotic" sound design, 300 is covers a lot of ground, and make no mistake, it does it all without a hint of subtly.  If any listener is not prepared for an audio assault of the third kind, that listener may find their ears laying bloodied and vanquished upon the ground.

The film begins a bit more cautiously with what is titled "The Agoge" (2).  The soundtrack; however, starts much more aggressively. Tyler Bates thrusts the listener off of the-cliffs-of-insanity into his world where the acoustic and the synthetic smash like heavy iron upon brittle bone and where, on occasion, they converge in forceful harmony. Ancient percussive instruments like the toumbek, daf, and taiko drum, battle electric and bass guitars throughout the score, but most notably in tracks such as "To Victory" (1), "The Hot Gates" (12), and "Fever Dream" (17).  While these three tracks might best represent the opposing elements Tyler Bates has been able to fuse together, by no means are these the totality of action cues.  Their intensity seems to come like wave after wave of Persian warriors.  If Epicon's GLOBUS has been dubbed "cinematic rock" then 300 can be called "cinematic metal." 

Now, I did mention that there were moments of harmony in 300...forceful harmony.  Matching the "breathers" of the film, there are a handful of  "breather" tracks scattered throughout the soundtrack.  Among the most needed and enjoyable are "Goodbye My Love" (9) and "A Message for the Queen" (24) which both feature 300's love theme.  Other tracks of marginal respite is the ethereal "What Must a King Do?" (8) and the sorrowful "Tonight We Dine in Hell" (19).  This brings me to a few other noteworthy tracks...

A couple of the best moments in the film and on the soundtrack are "Returns a King" (4) and "Remember Us" (25).  The Metro Voices perform triumphantly on both "Returns a King" and "Come and Get Them" (14), where King Leonidas, leader of the Spartan army, is given a powerful anthem.  In "Remember Us," we hear an uplifting orchestral epilogue which brings the story to an emotionally satisfying conclusion.  Now, not only are these two pieces noteworthy because they are among the best of the soundtrack, but also because their resemblance to the work of composer Eliot Goldenthal for the 1995 film of TITUS is unmistakable.  While Goldenthalisms can be detected elsewhere and other influences can be heard throughout the score (Holst, Zimmer, Van Halen?, Ben Burtt?) Goldenthal's work for TITUS clearly must have sat as temp tracks for these moments.  Temped or not - inspired by or not - the two pieces work perfectly within the film and are nearly as satisfying on the soundtrack.

Warner Brothers Records has released two versions of the soundtrack:  The original soundtrack and the Special Edition Digipak.  Both contain the same exact cues and total running time.  The special edition includes, aside from its tri-fold, paper case, a handful of collectable, double-sided, cards and a 16-page color booklet.  If one has the extra moola and has a collectorseak running through them, then the special edition release is the way to go.

In the final analysis, the music for 300 plays just like the film - A hyper-real, contemporary telling of an ancient tale.  Whether one finds such a telling enjoyable or not is another story.  300 certainly isn't for everyone - the film or the score.  Some critics have called 300 an over-the-top, man-movie.  Well that's exactly what it is.  By and large; however, both do an impeccable job of being what they were designed to be: a film du force and score that forges indigenous, acoustic instruments with cutting-edge, digital processing into true cinematic metal.

Rating: 7/10

Interview with Tyler Bates
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Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 To Victory 2:24 ***
2 Agoge 2:24 ***
3 Wolf 2:10 ***
4 Returns a King 2:24 ****
5 Submission 2:40 ***
6 Ephors 1:59 ***
7 Cursed by Beauty 1:41 ***
8 What Must a King do? 1:05 ***
9 Goodbye My Love 3:22 ****
10 No Sleep Tonight 2:33 ***
11 Tree of the Dead 2:25 ***
12 Hot Gates 3:00 ***
13 Fight in the Shade 3:17 **
14 Come and Get Them 2:05 ****
15 No Mercy 2:23 ***
16 Immortals Battle 1:53 ***
17 Fever Dream 2:33 **
18 Xerxes' Tent 3:20 ***
19 Tonight We Dine in Hell 1:15 ****
20 Council Chamber 2:34 ****
21 Xerxes' Final Offer 2:39 ***
22 A God King Bleeds 2:16 ***
23 Glory 1:44 ***
24 Message for the Queen 2:31 ***
25 Remember Us 2:56 ****
  Total Running Time (approx) 59 minutes  




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