The opening track 'Boo' is a mish-mash of big band rock that
spills over into an atmospheric but hardly Ancient Egyptian-sounding Main Titles.
I must admit that it put me off this CD immediately but I am glad I persisted
because as with most of Debney's scores there is some material to interest the
ear wearied of so many routine action scores.
Guitar and beat drums and cymbals clash further with racy rhythms
and elephantine-like trumpets in 'Night Attack' that introduces some slower,
sinister, nocturnal elements, and dramatic tension. In 'Vision of Doom' we have
the obligatory, distantly set, wailing female vocal. 'Pickpockets' has welcome
wit, with familiar Arabian motifs from both chorus and orchestra and some colourful
twists that almost become fugitive figures from a western score. 'Valley of
the Dead' returns with those headlong racy rhythms over ancient religious choruses.
The Cave has all those clichéd creepings, slitherings and rattlings and
more wailing, sudden bangs and one or two brief flashes of percussive and brass
novelty. It works up to a terrific climax that must send the on-screen excitement
The headlong excitement of 'Mathyus Arises' mixes music of
heroic vision with the some of the aforementioned material. 'Balthazar's Camp',
the most substantial track of the album at over five minutes duration mixes
primitive rock and male vocal grunts with just some tenderness. 'I had a vision'
brings back the female vocalist, pensive and more serene, before a storm in
the orchestra sweeps her musing aside. A broad melody suggestive of peace and
wide, sandy vistas follows. 'I've come for the woman' is another dynamic chaser
with Debney making the brass and percussion sections really earn their session
money (and watch your speakers). 'Die well, assassin' maintains the hectic pace,
with chorus and orchestra going flat out. By the time 'Balthazar arrives', the
listener is breathless, but there is no respite. 'The Scorpion King' at last
brings resolution, majesty and victory – exotic romance and, of course the heavenly
choir – well what else do you expect?
If you like your music loud, fast and exciting look no further.
A something above average 'sword and sand' action score with all the usual suspect
figures and one or two new ones.