Pathfinder (soundtrack) by Jonathan Elias



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Pathfinder by Jonathan Elias

Pathfinder  - Movie Poster and Memorabilia

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Pathfinder (Soundtrack) by Jonathan Elias

Composed by Jonathan Elias
Varèse Sarabande Records (2007)

Rating: 7/10

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Listen to this soundclip of PathfinderOpening Credits  (351 kb)

Listen to this soundclip of PathfinderStarfire  (392 kb)

Listen to this soundclip of PathfinderProphecy Fulfilled (354 kb)

More clips from Pathfinder at


“The music for PATHFINDER is likely just what you might expect. Brooding, pulsing, occasionally tumultuous - are all things that might spring to mind. While PATHFINDER contains all of the above, there is a surprising amount of thematic music. The end result is a better-than-expected soundtrack presentation."

Jonathan Elias' Pathetique Pathos
By Christopher Coleman

For about a year word and footage of director Marcus Nispel's PATHFINDER slowly made its way around the internet and finally to the cineplex. Those looking for their first real dose of "Conan" in the 21st century seemed to salivate at the very mention of the film's title...or perhaps it was just at the thought of seeing actress Moon Bloodgood. Anyway, others half-covered their eyes and their mouths as they could detect the train-smash of a film that was to eventually be unleashed upon audiences. PATHFINDER delivered exactly what it portended to deliver - a lot of highly stylized violence, a lot of blood, shamelessly empty dialogue, and a teaspoon of plot...make that half a teaspoon. For the film music fan, the most interesting element of PATHFINDER was the potential of a decent score from composer JONATHAN ELIAS.

One of the best descriptions of this film that I have heard is that PATHFINDER was simply "part Eragon and part Apocalypto." As odd of a pairing as that might seem, it's, unfortunately accurate. Like the film of Eragon, Pathfinder was an ambition unrealized and like Apocalypto it was a bloodfest. Apt as that description might be for the film as a whole, it, thankfully, doesn't fit Jonathan Elias' score. Actually, the music for PATHFINDER is likely just what you might expect. Brooding, pulsing, occasionally tumultuous - are all things that might spring to mind. While PATHFINDER contains all of the above, there is a surprising amount of thematic music. The end result is a better-than-expected soundtrack presentation.

The overall tone for PATHFINDER is set in the first track, "Opening Credits." Here we get our first dose of percussion, wordless vocals, and tension building strings with brass accents. This instrumentation is used most often in the more intense moments of the film (and there are a lot of them). "Vikings Attack" (7) goes down this same musical road before it ends with a surprising, soprano lead vocal. "Ghost Fight" (9) treads the line of sounding more like a horror score (with native american overtones) until things become quite industrial at just at the 2/3 mark. Even more creepiness oozes its way into the score in tracks such as "Eye for an Eye" (11) and "Cave Maze" (16). This moaning didgeridoo found in "Eye for an Eye," among other places, is the creepiest thing I've heard in a score in a long time.  One of the most powerful tracks is "First Kill" (10) where Elias really gets the orchestra and choir going. The first half is bold and beautiful, but by the second half we are returned to the staples of percussion, electronic samples, and the obligatory anvil hits. Pathfinder goes beyond the somewhat formulaic, action/thriller stuff and the few moments of respite are met with some the scores most interesting moments.

"Sanctuary" (4) is are first musical breather. Here we get a very melancholy, lullaby-like piece lead by woodwinds and supported by sumptuous string work. The love-theme is introduced in track 6, "Starfire." It is a solid piece which Elias pushes, by track's end, to a wonderful crescendo. This theme makes a brief, but welcome, return at the conclusion of "Ice Lake" (19). It's a shame this theme didn't get utilized more. Other tracks such as "Healing Ceremony" (13), and "Moving on" (14), help round out PATHFINDER. Without such pieces, this score would certainly fall into the crowded company of countless other action/thrillers.  The soundtrack comes to a very optimistic and satisfying concluding track "Prophecy Fulfilled" (23).  The hope and brightness of this track truly stands out from the majority of this score and gives glimpse of where Jonathan Elias can go when the opportunity affords itself.  Unfortunately, more often than not, he has tied himself to darker films which rarely give him such open doors.

With very personal works like THE PRAYER CYCLE, it's a surprise that Jonathan Elias doesn't do more projects which allow him to utilize his immense talent.  It was my hope against hope that PATHFINDER would not be full-on action...full-on thriller.  Well my hopes were met in part.  Following on the heals of 300, PATHFINDER leaves a lot to be desired, yet the score is might be more approachable than Tyler Bate's hyper-aggressive work.  There is some heart and tenderness in Elias' work here...enough to warrant serious purchase consideration.  In the end, PATHFINDER, might end up with at least a nomination in the 2007 Cue Awards for "Surprise of the Year."  Although it might not be true for the film, the score for PATHFINDER could have been worse....much worse.

Rating: 7/10


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Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Opening Credits 1:28 ***
2 The Discovery 2:02 ****
3 Remembering 2:28 ****
4 Sanctuary 1:54 ***
5 Haunted 3:03 ***
6 Starfire 1:39 ****
7 Vikings Attack 3:12 ****
8 The Aftermath 1:44 ***
9 Ghosts Fight Begins 2:45 ***
10 First Kill 3:47 ****
11 Eye for an Eye 1:55 ***
12 Cave Surprise 2:01 ***
13 Healing Ceremony 2:44 ***
14 Moving On 2:32 ***
15 Quick Kills 4:55 ***
16 Cave Maze 3:34 **
17 The Last Stand 2:18 ***
18 Pathfinders Destiny 2:38 ***
19 Ice Lake 2:00 ***
20 Vikings Ascent 1:19 ***
21 Mountain-side Battle 4:16 ***
22 Gunnars Victory 2:12 ***
23 Prophecy Fulfilled 5:39 *****
  Total Running Time (approx) 62 minutes  




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