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Regression by Roque Baños (Review)

posted Dec 11, 2015, 8:59 AM by michael@filmmusicmedia.com

Writing a score for a horror film is probably a difficult thing to do. I think the nature of these films makes it hard for a composer to really develop musical ideas, depending of course on what the movie itself deals with. You have to underscore shocking and scary scenes and make sure you do so in proper fashion. Sometimes there is simply little room for theme development.

In the case of Regression, one of the most recent horror pictures, starring Ethan Hawke, the composer Roque Baños managed to give his score a nice balance. He for instance used some fine vocal arrangements to underscore either a rather quiet moment, as heard in "Opening” or some uncomfortable moments displayed in “This Is All For You”. Baños wrote some quiet pieces “A Shattered Family” and downright frightening ones, which are really hard to listen to, yet they are very effective on screen. “Meeting At The Church” is one of those fine pieces of music, that feature a nice piano and string part. The wonderful violin performance at the end represents one of the album's finest moments.

Other cues like “John's Regression” really become increasingly intense and uncomfortable. On top of that, I must point out that some other bits of the score have been heard in quite a number of horror films past and present and they are characteristic for this genre. Nevertheless, Mr. Baños is a talented composer and he used the orchestra creatively. Piano and vocals certainly delivered some intriguing moments. Yet, the album's highlight is the very last piece “It's My Fault-End Credits”. The motif heard in “A Shattered Family” reappears at the very beginning. A great and haunting vocal part follows after that. The orchestral performance that starts at around the 02.50 minute mark is simply outstanding and probably the most beautiful and heartfelt moment of the entire score. I listened to it over and over again. This great and touching piece of music closed the album.

Sixty-five minutes of music can be a long time to sit through when it comes to certain albums, especially scores of this kind. Some material works well inside the film and the composers, in this case Roque Baños, provide the proper music, yet, as mentioned before, outside of the film, the score can be extremely hard to listen to. Thankfully, this album does feature some fine musical moments, plus a marvelous last track, that shows the talent of this composer and I hope to hear more from him very soon.