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Ironclad by Lorne Balfe (Review)

posted Mar 18, 2011, 12:40 AM by Kaya Savas   [ updated Mar 25, 2011, 3:48 PM ]

Lorne Balfe's big introduction to the film score world comes with Ironclad. A gritty period action film with lots of Ridley Scott flair. If you're a Hans Zimmer fan then you will probably recognize Balfe's name. He has worked with Hans on many films including Sherlock Holmes, The Dark Knight and Inception. He has done additional music and has produced a few scores with Hans. Balfe started out composing for several TV series and documentaries. In 2009 he scored Crying With Laughter, which was actually a really great score. He is also the name composer on Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 with Hans getting theme credit. Lorne co-composed Megamind and The Dilemma with Hans as well.

Ironclad gives us a more unfiltered taste of what Lorne has to offer as a composer, and boy is it great. This isn't Gladiator 2 nor is it a standard battle score. Balfe utilizes some amazing strings here to give an extreme sense of weight to the score. The music feels heavy and has such a presence. There is a primal aspect to the soundscape that gives the music texture and atmosphere. It definitely feels like the 1200's when you listen to it. I also like that the score doesn't get too bombastic. The use of heavy male vocals gives the music strength without going overboard with testosterone.

What the score accomplishes is that it is extremely memorable and definitely has plenty to offer as it tells a story. It never becomes blurry background action music in fact this is so much more than an action score. The instrumentation adds unique flavors to the sound. The themes and melodies are simple and at times the music has an elegance that echoes a sense of timelessness. You will find some beautiful tracks in this score that give it character. Overall this is a fantastic journey for the audience, and I highly recommend checking Ironclad out. It really shows off what Lorne Balfe is capable of, and I really hope to see him headlining some big projects in the future. He is a composer with a unique voice that has plenty to offer and Ironclad is a great example of his talent. The CD for the score was only released in Europe. You can find it on iTunes or go to Varese Sarabande's site to order the disc directly from the label.

Listen To FMM's Exclusive Interview With Lorne Balfe: Click Here