Metal Hurlant Chronicles: Season 2 soundtrack by Jesper Kyd (CD soundtrack review)

July 30, 2015 | By | Reply More

‘Metal Hurlant Chronicles’ is a television series where: ‘Each episode is a self-contained story taking place on a different planet with a different cast, and the episodes are linked together only by the idea that an asteroid, the “Métal Hurlant”, passes the planet in question during the events of the story.’ (Wikipedia)

MetalHurlantChroniclesS2-CD

Given this premise, it is unsurprising that the soundtrack contains a fairly diverse mixture of styles. While this could make for some interesting listening, because the tracks are mostly quite short, it ends up feeling like things don’t really belong together. There are no arching themes, so it’s hard to get into this album and it’s actually been on my review pile for a while because, every time I started listening to it, I got distracted and relegated it to background noise. I realise that’s pretty damning and, as an album, I don’t think it works well because of the lack of coherence as there’s no hook to keep catching your ear and enticing you back to the next track. However, there are some really great (if mostly short) tracks in amongst the mix and I’ll talk about a few of them here.

‘Second Chances’ starts off with a real space-age feel to it. It could be accompanying documentary footage of a comet or asteroid flying through the stars. Quickly going from gentle strings to an electronic sound reminiscent of 8-bit computer games, it’s an interesting track. Half-way through, it changes style completely so that really it feels like two tracks stuck together, but they complement each other pretty well. I really like the sound that’s created here, although I’m disappointed that it didn’t build into anything. That’s a complaint that applies to a lot of the tracks here, they start off with promise but fizzle out before they really get going.

Even before I looked at the title of ‘Saloon Shoot Out’, I thought it had a Western movie style feel to it, with some country-style guitars taking pride of place. There was also a sort of industrial feel to it with a gutsy background of drums and some kind of bass strings there to add depth. It definitely had an air of menace to it and the tension built through the track, which was great.

‘Betrayal’ has a hint of ‘Aladdin’ to it at the beginning, with dainty Disney-like flutes, harps and a hint of something Middle-Eastern gaily dancing along. This suddenly dies out and changes into something far more sinister in a mean-sounding minor key but, unfortunately, gets so quiet I could barely hear it when the low bass instruments were the only thing present.

There are plenty of other moments I enjoyed, too. The jarring electronic chords that thump out in ‘UMA 61 Fights Back’, the serene string section in the middle of ‘The Throne Room’, the relentless discordant beats of ‘Bar Heavy’ and the seductive harp music in ‘Lies And Deceit’. In fact, there is a lot of great musical talent in this album, and I admire the diversity Jesper Kyd has managed to achieve in here. I just think it doesn’t really sit well as an album, there’s not enough to tie the individual moments together.

I’d love to hear more of Kyd’s compositions as there are some fantastic elements in here. With a better theme (I know this is hard with such a loosely related set of TV episodes) and the freedom to give us some longer tracks I think he’d be someone whose work I’d really enjoy.

Vinca Russell

July 2015

(pub: Sumthing Else Music Works. 1 CD/download 40 tracks 89 minutes. Price: $ 8.99 (US), £ 7.99 (UK). ASIN: B00NX96UJA)

check out website: www.sumthing.com/

Category: Music/Audio, Scifi

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About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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