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Predator (Intrada Special Collection) by Alan Silvestri (Review)

posted Aug 23, 2010, 9:48 AM by Kaya Savas

One of the most iconic action/horror scores of all time is Alan Silvestri's Predator. As a late 80's score it was a breath of fresh air amongst the heavily synthesized action scores that had been coming out. However Predator was unique in that Silvestri still blended signature synthesized sounds amongst the orchestra. The synths didn't replace the orchestra they became the instrument that would play that ever so famous theme.

The score is so well crafted and executed that you can actually map the editing of the film in your head just by listening to it. It fits the film like a glove, but is so firmly grounded that it stands on its own. Silvestri utilizes strings heavily in the score. At times they play the role of "horror strings" to create that familiar suspense and at other times they oscillate pulsing melodies to get the adrenaline pumping. Accompanying brass motifs enforce the intensity of the score and give you a sense of danger. Then you have that piano. That piano that makes the score even more unique. Honestly, how often do you hear piano in an action score? He uses low end notes to add a certain "ting" almost in a percussive manner to break up the continuous nature of the strings. All the while Silvestri injects a sense of curiosity and intrigue into the score to give you the feeling that things aren't normal. It's such a brilliantly layered score that you don't see too often anymore.

One other aspect of the soundscape here is the slight militarization of the music that embodies our main character. The military aspect of the score is also the only source of tragedy in the music as head in the track "He's My Friend". For the rest of the music when Silvestri uses that militarized percussion it reminds us that our hero is trained and in command, and that he will not back down.

This score has been long out of print and Intrada has released a wonderful remastered version here. Even though this 3,000 unit edition is already sold out (in a matter of hours actually) it was nice to have it reintroduced into the market. Intrada remastered the score from two-track digital stereo session master elements that were recently discovered. So while there is still a slight hiss to this master it is a huge improvement. This is a must own for any film fans out there. It embodies a generation of action music and still stands the test of time as one of the best action scores ever composed.
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