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Fury by Steven Price (Review)

posted Oct 3, 2014, 4:04 PM by Kaya Savas

Steven Price’s first post-Oscar venture takes him to a completely different realm. The Gravity composer was in charge of crafting an action war film, and boy does he succeed. Fury is an uncompromisingly stylish war score that plays to action, character and atmosphere. In fact, Fury may find itself as one of the most stylishly unique and emotionally effective war scores since Black Hawk Down changed the modern warfare soundscape forever.

What Fury gets right is that it never forgets it’s a film score. This isn’t a hymn or ballad to the fallen, it's all about the immersion. While the music is built around our characters’ bravery, it isn’t meant as a way to pay respect. This is a film score meant to pull the audience into warfare and take us on a journey. The score wasn’t crafted to be sleek or nimble. No, this score grinds, shreds and boils with a significant weight. The constant chanting of a deep male choir, electronic textures, deep-cutting strings create a pretty scary world actually. The action isn’t fun action, it’s Price’s bleeding atmospheric style meant to rumble you from within. We feel the humanity pulsing through it all, even though the music feels mechanical at times. You can actually hear the metal scrapes, the pings of bullet shells hitting metallic surfaces. Price actually created sound textures with weapons and armor for the score, and you can hear it. It really adds an organic element to the score. The strings craft both the elegant emotions as well as the terrifying moments of danger. The score presents an amazing human journey, and it also builds a nightmarish hell. It does everything right and provides everything that the narrative needs including having a bold theme that communicates tragedy and heroism all at the same time. The beauty of the score emerges from the fact that in the middle of all the chaotic music that a few grand strokes of humanity can still shine through. Long track times help the score fully consume you. By the time the score ends, you haven't shaken the hellish chaos off, you escaped it.

Fury doesn’t hold anything back. It’s a full-force action score, it’s an atmospheric nightmare and it’s a powerful tale of humanity all wrapped in one. Price’s electronic layers, loops and textures add a powerful grit to the intensity. The deep emotional swells resonate loud through the orchestra. As a whole package, Fury becomes quite a memorable journey. It also demonstrates Price’s defining style and execution that quickly earned him an Oscar right out of the starting gate of his solo composing career. Fury is a fresh and propulsive take on the WWII war film. This is not in the realms of something like Saving Private Ryan nor is it along the lines of The Thin Red Line. It takes the same principles that Zimmer and Scott applied to Black Hawk Down, but here Price does it in his own unique voice through David Ayer's eyes. And it fully shakes you to the core.