Score Reviews‎ > ‎

Hannibal: Season 2 (Volumes 1 & 2) by Brian Reitzell (Review)

posted Sep 5, 2014, 1:00 PM by Kaya Savas

Brian Reitzell is definitely a unique talent and musical voice. His score for the series Hannibal has crafted its own genre of atmospheric emotional resonance on the listener. Brian has worked on many different projects such as Lost In Translation and The Bling Ring for director Sofia Coppola, as well as the Kelsey Grammar series Boss. His horror roots stem from scores like 30 Days Of Night to the more gothic Red Riding Hood. Hannibal on the other hand is in a field of its own. Reitzell has managed to craft a true psychological thriller that plays with your mind just as much as it builds suspense and unravels an episode. The world of Hannibal Lecter has been explored musically by greats like Howard Shore, Hans Zimmer and Danny Elfman who each crafted their own world. Brian Reitzell’s world is a real treat as well.

The one thing you’ll notice about Hannibal’s score presentation is that it’s unique. Each season is 13 episodes, so like season 1 we have each episode represented by 1 track spread across two volumes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a presentation like this on a score, and it’s quite awesome. Each track shares the same title as the corresponding episode it accompanies. Each track becomes it’s own standalone nightmarish experience. The music borders atmospheric, but this season I found many more interesting textures. Sounds that made me uncomfortable, made me nervous, gave me chills and even got my heart racing. This isn’t the most pleasant listening experience, but damn is it effective. It’s a unique thing to experience each episode sonically like this, and with Reitzell’s approach you’ll find new ways of how sounds can affect you psychologically. The score does work amazingly as a standalone experience, but it’s also lacking in terms of a graspable narrative structure within each episode's track. Although the score is definitely not built in the traditional way, it still could have used a little more molding.

This really is a score that needs to be experienced and it’s hard to describe because the actual sound textures do most of the heavy lifting in terms of effect. It could be too ambient and dissonant for some, but for others who are looking for a unique psychological score experience it’s a definite must. Definitely recommend listening alone, in a dimly lit room, and with headphones.