I suspect everyone on the planet has seen “The Dark Knight” by now, considering it has been a month and the astounding ratings the movie has received on IMDB. One of the striking components of the movie, a movie I absolutely loved by the way, is the brilliant score by Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard. This is a surpringly highly textured work that uses both a traditional orchestral score as well as some gritty sound design and guitar work. Like a lot of movie scores, this one contains a few orchestral themes, in particular for Batman in the track, “I’m Not a Hero” and for Two-face on the piece titled, appropriately, “Harvey Two-Face“.
The opening track titled “Why So Serious” is worth the price of admission for the whole album alone. In the movie, it seems to work as the Joker’s “theme” track, but isn’t very musical compared to the rest of the album. It opens with an otherworldly buzz that reminds me of a swarm of insects. It is extremely tense and edgy, and clearly is meant to invoke a sense of madness, which it does quite effectively. As it slowly builds, the piece is filled up with really deep clangs and drones while an extremely crunchy guitar riff explodes into the mix. This is not a rock piece, however, and during the movie, the riff comes and and leaves as explosive scenes occur.
This music is dynamite and works with the film in an extraordinary way. If you’re enjoy film scores, this is a top notch recommendation. It is similar in style, though a bit more minimalist, to the Batman Begins score, but much better. If you get a chance, go see the movie in Imax, the soundtrack really comes alive there.