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World War Z by Marco Beltrami

World War Z

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World War Z (Soundtrack) by Marco Beltrami
World War Z (Soundtrack) by Marco Beltrami
World War Z (Soundtrack) by Marco Beltrami










World War Z (Soundtrack) by Marco Beltrami

World War Z
Composed by Marco Beltrami
Lakeshore Records (2012)

Rating: 8/10

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“The film may bear little resemblance to MAX BROOKS’ tremendous novel, and the film’s frenetic pacing often leaves something to be desired, but MARCO BELTRAMI’S score is relentlessly thrilling.”

Relentless Thrills
Review by Richard Buxton


Ordinarily, a film score ejecting a viewer’s consciousness out of the heart of a movie would be considered a failure on the part of the composer. Yet mere minutes into WORLD WAR Z, I found myself reflecting upon a film score that I had barely experienced in context. The first hour or so of WORLD WAR Z is as breathless a viewing experience as one could hope for, and MARCO BELTRAMI’S musical score mirrors the desperate horrors of a zombie apocalypse with terrifying accuracy. The score as heard in the film is so effective in accenting the desperate struggle of the characters and the fervent pacing and editing, that it becomes a struggle not to remove oneself from the experience momentarily, just to contemplate the barrage of sensory triggers.

Reflecting the film itself, the score launches itself into relentless terror almost immediately with “Philadelphia” (1), a track that firmly sets the precedent for much of the most affecting material to be heard deeper into the score. Like the unstoppable zombie horde, waves upon waves of strings and blasts of brass overwhelm the senses until the only option is succumb to the delicious terror. “Ninja Quiet” (3) (doing little to reflect its title) , “NJ Mart” (5), “Zombies in Coach” (6), and “The Salvation Gates” (9) follow a similar formula of unyielding terror that leads into suspenseful builds before the frenzy resumes. There’s often very little respite scattered throughout BELTRAMI’S score, and these moments will most likely be spent anticipating the next wave orchestral bombardment given how morbidly enchanting the score often becomes.

A significant tonal shift towards the finale results in an opportunity for the score to catch its breath. However this does result in the music calming somewhat. Therefore it comes as no surprise that much of the score is made up of music heard earlier in the film. The more subdued moments on the score, “No Teeth No Bite” (8) for example, do little to demand repeat listens, but are perhaps necessary to avoid a sensory overload.

WORLD WAR Z is not without its more hopeful, emotional moments. The elements of family and humanity scattered between the horrors allow BELTRAMI to expand the score’s reach beyond the inexorable dead. “The Lane Family” (2) stands out as one of the score’s finest moments, with its flourishing string theme that excellently complements the conflict in the mind of the protagonist charged with saving humanity. “Like A River Around A Rock” (11) ends the score on a hopeful, but unnervingly bittersweet note with a triumphant rising climax, acting as a welcome commendation to anybody daring enough to brave the overwhelming intensity of the ten tracks that precede it. The climax of the ultimate track paints a vivid scene, so much so in contrast to earlier tracks that it is easy to imagine the events it accompanies even without having seen the film.

The film may bear little resemblance to MAX BROOKS’ tremendous novel, and the film’s frenetic pacing often leaves something to be desired, but MARCO BELTRAMI’S score is relentlessly thrilling. Rarely do scores match their films so well on such an intrinsic level.


Rating: 8/10


Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Philadelphia 4:03  *****
2 The Lane Family 2:46  *****
3 Ninja Quiet 2:55  ****
4 Searching For Clues 5:34  ***
5 NJ Mart 4:01  ****
6 Zombies in Coach 3:42  ****
7 Hand Off! 2:49  ***
8 No Teeth No Bite 3:25  ***
9 The Salvation Gates 4:25  ****
10 Wales 5:21  ****
11 Like a River Around a Rock 5:09  *****
  Total Running Time (approx) 44 minutes  


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