~ Release group by Jacob Groth
Album + Soundtrack
Stieg Larsson's trilogy of gruesomely violent crime novels, featuring Aspergic maths genius Lisbeth Salander and investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist, has given the Swedish-born novelist the kind of critical and commercial success in the years following his death in 2004 that eluded him during his lifetime.
Appearing posthumously, they created a publishing storm, selling more than 30 million copies worldwide since the first volume, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, was issued in 2005. Predictably, they also spawned three feature films which, less predictably, were subsequently re-edited and broadcast on television as a six-part mini-series.
Scoring duties for both cinema and TV outings fell to veteran Danish composer Jacob Groth, and themes from all three films and the mini-series feature on this first soundtrack compilation from the franchise. Groth's disconcertingly scuzzy blend of orchestral, rock and synthesised sounds, slicing jagged, fraying emotions out of dark, lowering atmospheres to eerie and unsettling effect, is indelibly stamped in Millennium (Main TV Theme) and seeps creepily into everything that follows.
Immediately apparent is Groth's nuanced way with weaving layers of sound drawn from separate sources (stabbing electronics, razor-sharp orchestral strings, threatening brass) into satisfyingly knotty textures that boast a mean, moody and malevolent muscularity. Even the all-too-brief shards of light that fall across the brooding, twilit landscape (the opening of Fire; the gorgeous swooning high strings in The Return of Salander) seem tied and tethered to a more crepuscular and dangerous world.
Devoid of film images, Groth's music manages to deliver an imaginatively bleak experience of its own that sounds primal and poetic in equal measure. Aficionados will want to know that the Misen Larsen-sung goth-rock anthem Would Anybody Die For Me? also appears here in the re-mixed version used over the end credits of the second film, The Girl Who Played With Fire.
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