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Vendetta: Position Music Orchestral Series Vol. 6 by Jo Blankeburg

Vendetta

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Vendetta: Position Music Orchestral Series Vol. 6 by Jo Blankeburg
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vendetta (Soundtrack) by Jo Blankeburg

Vendetta: Position Music Orchestral Series Vol. 6
Composed by Jo Blankeburg
Position Music(2011)

Rating: 7/10

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“What the music lacks in subtlety, it makes up for with relentless orchestral and choral anthems, all of which are nigh on certain to get the blood pumping.”

Revenge of the Orchestra
Review by Richard Buxton


It has been almost a decade since CORNER STONE CUES’ “Requiem For A Tower”, a re-orchestrated version of CLINT MANSELL’s “Lux Æterna”, took on a life of its own in the LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS trailer. Since then, trailer production music has made leaps and bounds as the primary source of musical backdrops for Hollywood films. The likes of IMMEDIATE MUSIC, TWO STEPS FROM HELL and POSITION MUSIC have all been at the forefront of motion picture campaigns such as STAR TREK, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN and IRON MAN. As the popularity of trailer music continues to surge, many production companies are releasing volumes of music to the public. One of the latest to come from POSITION MUSIC is VENDETTA, composed by JO BLANKENBURG.

A German pianist, BLANKENBURG’S music has previously been heard in marketing campaigns for HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON and THE WOLFMAN. With VENDETTA, BLANKENBURG offers listeners 37 minutes of unashamedly brash, epic music. What the music lacks in subtlety, it makes up for with relentless orchestral and choral anthems, all of which are nigh on certain to get the blood pumping.

Being a volume of trailer music rather than a film score, one must approach VENDETTA from a different perspective. Whilst the various tracks are mostly of a similar fashion in their gradual ascent towards a show-stopping climax, never do they maintain a definitive theme, something a film score is more often than not expected to. This does perhaps rob the score of an overall cohesive continuity between tracks, but it also provides fresh ideas in each new composition.

Beginning with “Dystopic” (1), BLANKENBURG pulls no punches with his introduction to VENDETTA. The intense tone is set immediately, and the pensive strings and guitar are quickly joined by a pounding drums and haunting vocals. It is at the halfway point that the track truly takes off as the chopping strings up the ante in a style that conjures up memories of the various 300 film trailers.

Following this is a somewhat more expansive piece, “Satorius (2) that emphasizes the use of choir to drive forward. The scurrying strings that open the piece maintain omnipresence throughout as the orchestra eventually combines for a trademark pounding trailer music finale.

In hearing “Imperatrix Mundi” (3) it becomes apparent that the general sound and structure of the music heard in VENDETTA has already become ingrained and is unlikely to change significantly. The consistently edgy strings and the moody vocals provide ample excitement, an excitement that expectedly repeated in “Juggernaut” (4). As the fourth track reaches its mid-point the greatest downfall of VENDETTA is illuminated. So similar are the majority of the tracks in their objective, it often becomes difficult to tell the tracks apart, or at least recall specific moments of the score simply based on memory alone. This is often a problem experienced in trailer music, and it is therefore hard to criticise based purely on this, as the nature of trailers often demand specific templates. The unstoppable incline heard in “Hymn of the Apocalypse” (5) is echoed in most of VENDETTA’S tracks, varied slightly each time.

Despite this, the likes of “Praetorian Guards” (6) and “Kingdom of Avilion” (12) provide just enough exclusive flavour and thrills to stand above the rest as the highlights of VENDETTA. The straining string ostinato combined with stirring brass and vocals paint a powerful and evocative picture, a picture that would serve well in the kingdom of TROY. While the latter offers a similar texture, with the addition of a more prominent choir that textures the piece with a solemn heroism.

The inexorable quest for an increasingly more epic sound that is heard across the 14 tracks of VENDETTA is focused that listening to each track consecutively may prove to be too much of a good thing, prompting the listener to seek out something of a more subtle variety in order to catch a moments rest. Trailers are made to have a lasting impact on a viewer, and the music must emphasize this. It therefore might be preferable to see VENDETTA as a mood-governed experience, rather than a journey into boundless thematic ideas and adventure. As trailer music giants TWO STEPS FROM HELL begin to offer publically accessible albums, audiences are becoming increasingly spoilt, and POSITION MUSIC’S opposition grows ever stronger. Despite this, VENDETTA will certainly suffice as an efficient solution to anyone in need of a quick epic-action fix.

 

Rating: 7/10


Track

Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Dystopic 2:24  ****
2 Satorius 2:09  ***
3 Imperatrix Mundi 2:59  ****
4 Juggernaut 2:53  ***
5 Hymn of the Apocalypse 2:51  ****
6 Praetorian Guards 2:32  *****
7 Lament for Cherubin 2:56  ****
8 Knights of Palmyra 2:33  ***
9 Vendetta 2:12  ****
10 Conquest of Antaria 2:20  ****
11 Enamorus 3:25  ***
12 Kingdom of Avilion 2:42  *****
13 Chimern Empire 2:39  ****
14 Lament for Cherubin (Stripped Mix) 2:56  ***
  Total Running Time (approx) 37 minutes  

 

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