Terminator Salvation - Original Motion Picture Score CD Review

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Reviewed by Chris McEneany, 28th May 2009
Elfman's death-metal score for Terminator Salvation is a difficult thing to dislike, yet it is hardly something to write home about either. There is nothing here that you haven't heard before. The composer's trademark percussive overkill is brought to bear with vigour and its marriage to Fiedel's customary Skynet metallic bombast is appropriately fitting. Yet it can often feel like so much assembly-line, generic metal-man mayhem. However, I enjoy the score a little more each time I hear it, and it certainly helps to swing the franchise into a more emotional and enjoyable direction.

Brad Fiedel worked strenuously to avoid the human element, but where Marco Beltrami tried unsuccessfully to incorporate it, Elfman pulls off the difficult trick of marrying the harshness of tech-terror with the warmth of human spirit. Having said this, though, there will always be those who cannot take to the industrial “noise” of such a score, no matter how well integrated with compassion it may be. So this is a tough call, really. Elfman on form is absolutely top-notch, but Elfman performing only “just right” is a disappointment, however you cut it. But even if he is breaking no new ground for himself with Terminator Salvation, he, nevertheless, delivers broad and pulsating action and a mean mood of apocalyptic absolution.

This is definitely worth a listen … although it is impossible to say, at this stage, whether or not “he'll be back” for another pop at the Terminator series.

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Just to let you know, it's Anton Yelchin not Yeltsin ;)

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