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Legion by John Frizzell


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 Legion (Soundtrack) by John Frizzell
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Legion (Soundtrack) by John Frizzell

Composed by John Frizzell
La La Land Records (2009)

Rating: 6/10

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“As a suspense score, LEGION is just this side of ordinary.  It isn't the most thrilling, but offers at least a couple of great tracks that are worth putting on the playlist. ”

Legion is Not All Doom
Review by Helen San

LEGION is a dramatic thriller about a small rag-tag team at an isolated diner facing off the apocalypse; except this time, they are fighting God himself, with shotguns no less. God has sent a legion of angels (who are armed to the teeth but prefer to possess people) to exterminate mankind (as in Flood, The Sequel), and the only supernatural being with any faith left in us is that rebel archangel Michael. Together they protect the diner’s pregnant waitress, whose child is believed to be the Earth’s only salvation from the wrath of God. By most accounts, the film fails to deliver on what could have been a great action, thriller, and/or horror fest and languishes instead in extended character monologues that couldn’t engage audiences.

But maybe the narrative angle worked on composer JOHN FRIZZELL. Surprisingly, FRIZZELL, who is best known for suspense or horror (think WHITEOUT or THE REAPING), shone in the dramatic cues. The main story theme, initially heard in “Old and Pissed Off “ (4), perked my ears for the first time on this album. It is reprised more eloquently in ”I Didn’t Even Want This Baby” (17) and beautifully developed in one of the best cues on the album, “Die Like One of Them” (22).

Dramatic beauty aside, most of LEGION is comprised of rather prosaic horror. The suspense cues are not bad, but have nothing particularly noteworthy or creative about them either; they stand just a hair above stock “scary ambience music.” A few of them offer nothing melodious at all, mostly piercing, scraping violins that remind me of nails on a chalkboard. It probably works in the movie to make one’s skin crawl, but on CD? No, thanks (shudder). It is not until “God’s Plan” (13) that FRIZZELL delivers the kind of tension we know he is capable of. It introduces the primary action theme, a six-note chord that also plays strikingly well in “That is Why You Failed Him” (23), although on that track, the theme is unfortunately intermingled with the aforementioned irksome dissonance. The most favorable rendition of the action theme happens to be in, you guessed it, a dramatic cue: the warm and stirring, “You Are the True Protector” (24), which I believe to be the best track on the album. Incidentally, there is an alternate version of this track, which plays at a slower tempo and sounds a bit like lounge music.

Even without the main action theme, most of the action cues are commendable. “A Rebellious Son” (20) starts off with pedestrian anxiety but evolves into a terrific, though brief, sequence with a symphony of energetic strings. “The Battle” (21) and “Dark World” (15) are also amongst the best tracks in LEGION. Both tracks sport choral accents, which are quite fitting in a movie with religious overtones and work very, very well. I wish FRIZZELL had incorporated more choral elements in this score; with his vivacity, they could have given the foreboding score the rousing pick-me-up it needed. Finally, one more track deserves honorable mention: “Clouds Don’t Buzz” (6). It is not as exciting as the others, but its propulsive drive stands out nicely in an otherwise dreary and dark terrain.

As a suspense score, LEGION is just this side of ordinary.  It isn't the most thrilling, but offers at least a couple of great tracks that are worth putting on the playlist. I look forward to hearing FRIZZELL score more dramatic material in the future.

Rating: 6/10

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Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 When I was a Little Girl 1:35  **
2 Michael Descends 2:48  **
3 It's Started 2:39  **
4 Old and Pissed Off 2:41  ***
5 This is Not a Test 1:43  *
6 Clouds Don't Buzz 1:21  ***
7 The Aftermath 0:59  *
8 Now What? 1:47  **
9 They're Here 1:57  **
10 The Ice Cream Man 1:59  *
11 Attack of the Possessed 0:44  *
12 We Got 'Em Running 1:05  *
13 God's Plan 3:50  ****
14 Percy's Story 1:30  **
15 Dark World 1:53  ****
16 Bob Blames Himself 1:10  ***
17 I Didn't Even Want This Baby 4:00  ***
18 Open the Door 2:45  *
19 Are We Safe Now? 2:59  **
20 A Rebellious Son 2:17  ***
21 The Battle 2:23  ***
22 Die Like One of Them 1:45  ****
23 That is Why Your Failed Him 3:07  ***
24 You Are the True Protector 2:14  ****
25 You Are the True Protector (Alternate Version) 2:13  ***
  Total Running Time (approx) 51 minutes  





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