No film this year polarised peoples’ opinion quite like ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. It was the cinematic equivalent of Marmite. Fans and laymen alike slammed it, while at the same time the box office takings grew and grew showing that some people enjoyed it. I fall into the latter camp. I recognised the film’s faults but still enjoyed it despite them.
There are similar issues with the soundtrack. Hans Zimmer’s score, while stirring is somewhat repetitive and at times interchangeable. Very few times did I listen to a track and think, oh that’s the part where Bruce Wayne decides to return as Batman or Selina Kyle looked a bit shifty in that scene.
As with the film, one can still enjoy the soundtrack. One constant theme is the chanting of ‘deshi basara’ which composer Hans Zimmer says means ‘rise up’. From the rise of Bane and his cause, the city of Gotham attempting to fight back against the fat cats and then terrorism and the eventual rise of you-know-who, it’s the perfect mantra for the film and score.
Much like the film, the scene is set early with ‘Gotham’s Reckoning’ giving us dark omens and a sense of impending doom with plenty of drums and, you guessed it, chanting.
‘The Fire Rises’, ‘Despair’ and ‘Fear Will Find You’ are the real show-stealers of the album. Spliced with the excerpts of the ‘Batman’ theme that has been prominent throughout Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, they push up the tempo and are the jolt that the soundtrack needs to get going.
The final track on the album is ‘Rise’ is what I was really waiting for and it didn’t disappoint. Covering the last scene of the film, which I really enjoyed but I know many others didn’t, this track captured the scene perfectly, ending the album on a high note.
Christopher Nolan fans will love it, Batman fans will love it and Hans Zimmer fans will love it. If you like Arabic chanting and drums, chances are you will, too.
(pub: Watertower Music. CD: 51 mins, 15 tracks. Price: $10.00(US), £5.00 (UK). Also available as a digital)