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The 13th Warrior by Jerry Goldsmith

The 13th Warrior

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The 13th Warrior (Soundtrack) by Jerry Goldsmith

The 13th Warrior
Composed by Jerry Goldsmith
Varese Sarabande Records (1998)

Rating: 7/10

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“Composer Jerry Goldsmith continues his adventurous summer, following up his popular score for THE MUMMY, with this spectacular work for Michael Crichton’s Eater’s of the Dead or the more palatable title, THE 13TH WARRIOR. ”

Gold from Goldsmith
Review by Christopher Coleman

Composer Jerry Goldsmith continues his adventurous summer, following up his popular score for THE MUMMY, with this spectacular work for Michael Crichton’s Eater’s of the Dead or the more palatable title, THE 13TH WARRIOR.

Right from the onset Goldsmith nabs the listener’s attention with a colorful middle-eastern theme, "Old Bagdad". The theme starts mildly but soon reaches one of Goldsmith’s trademark sounds of force and depth. The hero’s theme is displayed here in unforgettable fashion and will work its way through many of the tracks included on this CD release by Varese Sarabande. The choral work in this track is powerful- some of Goldsmith’s best ever. Almost every track features some use of this wonderful choral theme.

Sharing some subtle commonalities with THE MUMMY, track 2, "Exiled," among other tracks, evokes the mystery of the middle east with many indigenous instruments, but never too far away are Goldsmith’s percussive crashes, whirling strings, and bold brass accents.  Things take a bit of a suspenseful turn at track 5, "Eaters of the Dead," where Goldsmith introduces the mystery and terror of this dark race.

The softer side of this score is represented in track 10, "Honey." InitIally, Goldsmith takes some his previously established main theme and softens it up a bit as it is played lightly by the woodwinds. Slowly he winds some very nice stuff from the string section into the piece. While this is the softest and prettiest of the tracks, even it includes a bit of mystery and foreboding.

After the brief, catch-your-breath-track, in track 10, Goldsmith takes us back to the scary stuff. Track 11, "The Cave of Death" goes from eeriness to spine-tingling crashes and concludes with a healthy dollop from his bag-o-scary music.
Track 14 stands out from the rest by the composer’s employment of the strings. "Underwater Escape" starts with the same bold style as most of the other tracks, but soon the strings begin to ebb, flow and swirl until it finishes with a heroic fanfare.

THE 13TH WARRIOR soundtrack concludes with one of the CD’s best. Albeit a very short track, "A Useful Servant" may be the prettiest of them all and serves to conclude the score in an honest, innocent, and wonderful way.

Rating: 7/10


The 13th Warrior is an enormously enjoyable score, but I really just can't help but wish that Goldsmith had made it a little more "authentic" sounding. It's so very similar to The Wind and the Lion, Baby: The Secret of the Lost Legend and Mulan it's really quite disturbing; rarely has a Goldsmith score lifted so much from so many others. But, as I keep saying, taken on its own terms it is one of the highlights of the year so far. ****

James Southall - Moviewave

The music is mostly very loud - it is pretty much non-stop action from start to end, which frankly can be a little monotonous at times. Some more quiet, soft parts would have been a welcome addition...Overall, The 13th Warrior is a good action score. Some people rank it as Goldsmith's best in 1999. The Mummy is a far better score, in my opinion. If you can't decide which one to pick - get The Mummy.

Andreas Lindahl - Score!

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Track Title Track Time  Rating

Old Bagdad








4 The Great Hall 5:20 ****

Eaters of the Dead



Viking Heads



The Sword Maker



The Horns of Hell



The Fire Dragon






The Cave of Death


12 Swing Across 1:49 ***

Mother Wendol's Cave


14 Underwater Escape 1:36 ****
15 Valhalla/Viking Victory 10:35 ***
16 A Useful Servant 1:18 ****
  Total Running Time (approx) 55 minutes  




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