Composer Paul Haslinger is no stranger to darkness. The classically trained pianist and former member of Krautrock ensemble Tangerine Dream has a gift for moody soundscapes as evidenced by his cinematic 1999 world fusion record Score. He stays true to his muse on the Underworld soundtrack, peppering the gothic fable with one brutal dirge after another, leaving a trail of carnage littered with mid-'90s industrial waste. To Haslinger there is no post-Nine Inch Nails universe; The Crow has not yet begot The Matrix. Like an oily, inner-city river, he fills every ounce of space with clanging metal and distant wailing synths, pausing only on the fleeting "Suspended Memories" to dabble in soft piano and open water. Despite its monotony this unflinching approach works, offering a glimpse into what Ministry could have been had they entered the world of film music -- they turned the pounding, single-note melody into an art form. Amid this cacophony lies the heart of Underworld; its pulse is pure and devoid of irony. The vampires and werewolves may rule the city in their tight leather pants, but it's Haslinger who makes them dance.
AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger
|Underworld, film score|