The Murder Pact (Matthew Llewellyn)


The Murder Pact Soundtrack by Matthew Llewellyn (2015)

Get it: If you like electronic styled soundtracks with an orchestral approach

Don’t get it: If you want a light, classic feel for this score

From MovieScore Media comes the soundtrack to The Murder Pact.  Matthew Llewellyn has continued to show his multiple musical facets with this score.  Winner of two awards at the 2014 Film Soundtrack Center Awards, including “Up-and-Coming Composer”, he demonstrates different styles with his two recent projects.  This variation continues to this score. 

Previously, we’ve seen Llewellyn’s work on Deep in the Darkness and Wishin’ and Hopin’.  While completely different styles, both of these scores shared an orchestral sound.  With The Murder Pact, he and director Colin Theys agreed to come up with something that they haven’t done before.  In fact, it hasn’t really been done by anyone before.  There’s a contemporary edge present that still has elements of traditional scores in it.  Llewellyn was to do an all-electronic OST.  However, he still had an orchestral approach.  This adds a unique and rather nice element to it that sets it apart from others in the genre.  Sometimes, you can find an electronic, or synth, score that can settle into a somewhat monotonous theme or tone.  That isn’t the case here.  Instead, we have the progressions, variations, and influences of an orchestra, but with a new sound.  There are numerous changes in tone and feel throughout that keep the listener actively involved in the music. 

If you are a soundtrack fan who doesn’t usually like an electronic sound, you may still be interested in giving this a listen anyway.  If you are an electronic score fan, you will also want to listen to this score.  Why?  It incorporates aspects of both sides, so there’s something for everyone to like.  Some tracks have the beats and rhythm that is commonly associated with a synth score, while others have more of the focus on the individual sections combining for the overall sound (as associated with an orchestra). 

With an average of about 2:30 time, the tracks run a perfect length – not too long, and definitely not too short.  Due to Matthew Llewellyn’s previous work, expectations were high for this score – and it did not disappoint. 

Here is a preview track from the score, titled, “Belle Gets Rung”:

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Wishin’ and Hopin’ (Matthew Llewellyn)

Wishin' and Hopin' Soundtrack Cover

Wishin’ and Hopin’ Soundtrack Cover

Wishin’ and Hopin’ Soundtrack by Matthew Llewellyn (2014)

Get it: If you like orchestral soundtracks that are not too focused on drama

Don’t get it:  If you want something full of intense action, suspense, or heavy drama

MovieScore Media has released Matthew Llewellyn’s newest soundtrack, this time for Colin Theys’ film Wishin’ and Hopin’.  Right in the very beginning, you can tell that any fans of John Williams’ work on the film Home Alone will definitely enjoy this score as well.  This is a complete 180 switch for Llewellyn who just recently scored his first solo soundtrack in Deep in the Darkness.  That was so focused on intensity and suspense for the horror film, but for this one he changed it around.  Just read the “Don’t get it” line for the contrast.

Although this absolutely sounds like a Christmas soundtrack, it isn’t done in a typical way, such as being full of sleigh bells.  Rather, Llewellyn uses a more orchestral approach.  Strings are used well throughout.  The theme is used consistently and nicely.  The score has just the right amount of playfulness without loosing its substantial quality.  This composer makes great use of an orchestra in a way similar to John Williams that is getting increasingly harder to find.

It sometimes feels like you’re listening to a story.  This, of course, is a huge help to any film and establishes an identity.  This is a very enjoyable score from a rising composer.  Matthew won, among others, the award for ‘Up and Coming Composer’ at the 1st Annual Film Soundtrack Center Awards.  If his first two solo soundtracks are any indication of the future, then he has a very bright path ahead of him worth looking forward to.

Here is a preview of Matthew Llewellyn’s score to Wishin’ and Hopin’:

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Deep in the Darkness (Matthew Llewellyn)

Deep in the Darkness Soundtrack Cover (2014)

Deep in the Darkness Soundtrack by Matthew Llewellyn (2014)

Get it: If you are looking for a soundtrack that carries a lot of weight and is both intense and mysterious

Don’t get it: If you are looking for an adventurous tune with a dynamic main theme

Intensity.  Suspense.  Action.  Even a little beauty.  This is all in Llewellyn’s soundtrack for Deep in the Darkness.  As soon as the listener gets lost in the enchantment and mystery of the score, you’re brought back by the intensity of the next part.  Llewellyn has a consistently excellent use of strings with brass/piano accompaniment.  Parts are reminiscent of the Alfred Hitchcock days, while other parts are much more modern with an almost Jaws-like feel.  The depth of the use of strings can really draw the listener into the music, which sets a very good mood for the film and almost serves as a type of warning system.

The combination of smooth notes with more pulsating and hectic ones establishes a wonderfully done sense of uneasiness.  There is an underlying sense of unrest and almost anger mixed in throughout.  Certain tracks, such as “Don’t Trust Lady Zellis”, have rather beautiful elements to them.

One moment can be complex, intricate, and intense, then turn to emanate silent fear, like something very bad is on the verge of happening.  When the brass is used, it adds a quite real sense of danger because of the manner in which it is used.  There is not too much or too little.  “We’re Not Going Back” and “The Swarm” stand out because the rhythm of the instruments and anger of the brass come together for a piece done masterfully.

This soundtrack has a fairly consistent theme, so you would have to like that in order to fully appreciate the entire soundtrack.  Overall, a wonderful soundtrack that is heavy, mysterious, and has real substance to it and is very full of emotions.  Very well done by a composer with a very bright future.

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