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Revenge by iZler


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Revenge (Soundtrack) by iZler











Revenge (Soundtrack) by iZler

Composed by iZler
Intrada Records (2012)

Rating: 7/10

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Soundclips available at Intrada Records


“REVENGE isn’t a score that loudly demands to be heard, but it is an example of efficient scoring and remaining true to the essence of the art.”

Essence of Revenge
Review by Richard Buxton

Despite what the most virtuous amongst us might claim, vengeance is deep-rooted into the human psyche. Revenge is a theme that courses through the veins of film and television worldwide, from OLDBOY and I SAW THE DEVIL, to STRAW DOGS and GLADIATOR, there’s nothing quite like witnessing the exacting of long-sought cinematic vengeance. ABC’s REVENGE doesn’t quite explore the same degree of ruthless retribution as these films, foregoing the relentless brutality and instead acting as perhaps a more relatable tale of payback, as protagonist Emily Thorne seeks to avenge the framing, imprisonment and eventual murder of her father. Her quest for vengeance is scored by Czech-born, English-raised composer IZLER whose previous credits include the series SHAMELESS, and chilling thriller ON THE ICE.

The majority of the REVENGE score circulates around the show’s creeping main theme that appears with great frequency throughout. Pilot director Phillip Noyce’s modest request of IZLER to compose “the mother of all theme melodies” hasn't quite been met, but the simplistic theme does enough to set the nerves on edge. It’s a theme that could potentially have been used more effectively if it were utilized as a sub-theme, with a motif expressing greater catharsis taking the role as the show’s primary theme. As it is, the main theme - first heard in “Mortal Vindication - Revenge Main Theme” (1) - sets the tone well enough, but doesn’t quite deliver on the intrigue and suspense that it creates.

Going by IZLER’S liner notes, the use of a live orchestra was a key component of the score, as opposed to re-creating an orchestra synthetically. That is certainly something most film score listeners will no doubt appreciate, and when IZLER does indeed look to incorporate electronics into the score, he does so efficiently without ever overwhelming the orchestral elements. The electronics are generally used to add an extra layer of suspense, ratcheting the anticipation up another level as heard in the pulsing “Lose Your Compassion” (2) and “Who is the Falcon” (6).

Much of the score is very pensive, and these passages of suspense are mercifully alleviated by a handful of action cues. These tracks serve as welcome deviations from the slower sections of the score. Much of the action is composed of frantic strings and heavy percussion, often sounding derivative of JOHN POWELL’s action scoring. These cues are thrilling, yet are on the whole quite generic in terms action scoring. For example, the Simplistic string ostinatos get the blood pumping in “Tyler Goes Nuts” (9) and “The Sinking (SOS Theme Pt2)” (15), but do little to separate themselves from cues heard in many recent dramas.

REVENGE is arguably at its best when exploring the middle ground between pure suspense and frenetic action. The sinister “Sins of the Mother” (17) and nail-biting “Meet the Graysons” (7) have a layer of depth that is missing in some parts of the score, and it does suffer a little as a result.

IZLER, despite being relatively new to scoring, has been able to craft a score that generally does what is required of it. REVENGE isn’t a score that loudly demands to be heard, but it is an example of efficient scoring and remaining true to the essence of the art.

Rating: 7/10


Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Mortal Vindication - Revenge Main Theme 2:30  ***
2 Lose Your Compassion 1:39  ****
3 Previous Investments 2:04  ***
4 Destiny 3:23  ***
5 The Wrong Amanda - Emily and Aiden Theme 1:43  ***
6 Who is the Falcon 2:08  ****
7 Mee the Graysons 2:25  ****
8 The Christening 1:51  ***
9 Tyler Goes Nuts 2:03  ***
10 Return to the Fire and Ice Ball 1:46  ***
11 Don't Say A Word 1:52  ***
12 The Marriage of Jack and Fauxmanda 3:13  ****
13 Honor thy Father 2:01  ***
14 High Tension Boating (SOS Theme Pt. 1) 3:48  ****
15 The Sinking (SOS Theme Pt. 2) 4:44  ****
16 Requiem for Amanda 4:56  ****
17 Sings of the Mother 3:24  ****
18 Farewell Fauxmanda 3:25  ***
19 Darkness 2:39  ***
20 Stabbed in the Back 2:29  ***
21 A Arewell to Porters 2:03  ***
22 I Am Amanda Clarke 7:23  ***
23 Adagio for Emily/ Let It Play 1:32  ****
  Total Running Time (approx) 60 minutes  


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