Brutally honest reviews and commentary on the latest music
Artist: Thomas Bergersen
Genre: Neo Orchestral
Release Date: 30 September 2014
Official Website: ThomasBergersen.com
Diagnosis: Thomas Bergersen is one of the composers behind the production music company Two Steps From Hell. Him and Nick Phoenix teamed up to write original music for movie trailers and other promotional material. Their music has appeared in trailers for The Dark Knight, Inception, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and many more. In fact, “Final Frontier” off of this album is already being used on the third trailer for Interstellar. Both Bergersen and Phoenix have released solo albums along the way. Bergersen’s last solo album is titled Illusions, released back in 2011, so it’s been almost 4 years. I only provide this background info because, although their music gets around, their names don’t get much mainstream attention. Considering that this music is often used in movie trailers, there’s definitely a lot of classical instruments and styles used, though with enough electronic sounds sprinkled in to make it more interesting. Part of what makes this kind of music appealing is the amount of energy it brings to the table, but Bergersen’s approach seems to have become more emotional and atmospheric over the years, preferring slower paced tracks with carefully placed female vocals. Of course, plenty of the tracks still have the explosive energy that comes with the style, but it’s clear that he wants to do more than just compose a soundtrack for every thriller that has bullets flying every which way. I wouldn’t put this on the same level as Two Steps From Hell’s Miracles (though stylistically they’re similar), but this is still great music with a lot of depth, so put on your best headphones, sit back and relax.
The Highlights: “Creation of Earth” is a surprisingly energetic track to follow “Before Time,” with a vicious, explosive sound at the one minute mark that sounds like a combination of a lion’s roar and the famous sound effect used in the Inception trailers. That alone makes the track worth listening to, but the build up to when the choir completely take over, with the brass and strings taking turns with who’s at the forefront, makes for an incredibly memorable moment. “New Life” is the first track where pipes are appear at the forefront, and I don’t what it is about pipes, but I’ve yet to hear them used in a way that didn’t make the music so much better. They always manage to add a lot of color. “Final Frontier” easily has the catchiest melody on the album and manages to be repetitive in a way that doesn’t lose the listener’s interest before coming to its epic and satisfying closing. “Fearless” is a very satisfyingly aggressive track where the vocals are at their best. Don’t know what they’re saying, but the energy it brings in conjunction with the fast and powerful drum beats is undeniable.
Final Thoughts: Bergersen composes music that I’d recommend to anyone. It’s the kind of music that can inspire and bring out the best in our creative sides. Decent headphones are definitely recommended for the first listen to hear everything going on in the background, but don’t let that stop you from checking out some of the the highlights. Some tracks lag behind in quality to varying degrees, but the album is largely more than worth listening to.
Score: 8.5 out of 10