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Dawning by Nathaniel Levisay (Review)

posted Jun 3, 2011, 7:14 PM by Kaya Savas

The world of horror scores has seen it's fair share of cliched musical soundscapes. I always like when a composer really spends a lot of time developing some sort of sonic palette that sucks the audience in and that is exactly what Nathaniel Levisay does. For Dawning the music acts as a sharp barbed needle being slowly pushed under your skin as you feel every little prick and nick. The deeper you push the more you feel it and it's not a very pleasant experience (in a good way).

The music here is meant to make you feel uncomfortable. Instruments are screeching and squealing as Levisay really creates a vivid soundscape of unsettling sounds. He pushes the intensity in and out so it's never a forceful experience yet it's never a passive one either. A lot of the scoring reminds me slightly of Akira Yamaoka in the sense that it's very atmospheric. The overall effect on me was pretty significant as I let the music do its number. However, after my listen through I did feel like the experience I just had didn't have much structure. The music has tons of building moments, but in the grand arc I felt like I wasn't led anywhere. It may be the only thing hindering the score and don't worry because it's not a huge deal. The score is a great piece of atmospheric terror and it uses some great textures to really make the listener feel uneasy.

Was the experience worth it? Absolutely. Nathaniel Levisay's score is a fresh horror assault that will make you squirm. It has great precision in certain moments even if  the grand arc ends with a thump. The fact that the last half of the End Credits is just forest ambience is a nice touch as well. I highly recommend seeking this small score out to give yourself a fresh horror experience.
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