While Hans Zimmer's music for Christopher Nolan's Batman movies aren't as high-concept as some of his other scores, such as Inception or Gladiator, they're just as artfully done, and The Dark Knight Rises is no exception. Zimmer ties the music for the final installment of Nolan's Batman trilogy to his previous scores, but allows these pieces to have their own flourishes as well: "A Storm Is Coming" nods to the churning strings of the theme used since Batman Begins, but "Nothing Out There" adds an almost subliminal pulsing synth that grows stronger as the score unfolds, peaking with "Imagine the Fire"'s climax of choral vocals and strings. Meanwhile, heavy brass cuts through most tracks like a bat signal piercing through the clouds, nowhere more clearly than on "Gotham's Reckoning." Yet Zimmer doesn't just pile on the drama; he knows when to have his cues crash into a scene and when they should get out of the way. The drums, brass, and strings reach near-claustrophobic levels on "The Fire Rises," but they also retreat, roil, and then thunder to a close in malevolent and majestic fashion. Zimmer also finds room for some more experimental touches, as on "Despair," where the whooshing percussion sounds like a cape sweeping through the air or something bursting into flames. And while most of these cues tower like Gotham skyscrapers, "Mind If I Cut In?" is just as remarkable for its delicate melody and subtle percussion. Fittingly for the last installment of Nolan's -- and thus Zimmer's -- interpretation of Batman, many of the track titles wax philosophical ("Why Do We Fall?"), and the score's emotional range is narrow but deep, spanning the mournful "Born in Darkness" and the somber "Necessary Evil," and culminating with "Rise," which mingles haunting strings and vocals with formidable rhythms as the credits roll. While The Dark Knight Rises closes the book on Batman for Zimmer and Nolan, it's just another chapter in their thriving creative partnership.
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares
|The Dark Knight Rises|