Ironclad: Bold and Bombastic

Gone are the glory days of medieval scores. Or are they?
Ironclad is a perfect example of the "modern" medieval type score. Lorne Balfe is the perfect example of a popular "modern" composer.
Balfe is another student of Hans Zimmer's Remote Control Productions and definitely has some amazing potential.
Ironclad takes place in the year 1215, when King John is forced by some rebel barons to sign the Magna Carta. However King John breaks his word and tries to bring England back under his tyrannical rule. One castle standing prevents him from doing just that.
The score was disappointing and exciting all at the same time. Balfe relies heavily on a male choir, thus maintaining the epic sound of this massive production. They are both bold and beautiful; perfect for a period film set in medieval times.

There are also some gorgeous fiddle and Uilleann pipe themes that soften the "bombastic-ness" of this score. Did I mention that this score is bombastic? The score is set with one  action cue after another.
Most of the material is pretty intense and so the softer fiddle themes even it out, somewhat.

Then, there is the prominent "King John's Theme": a deep male unsteadily and gruffly holding out wordless vocals. To be more precise he belts out: "Ah". I guess, given that King John is the antagonist; it fits. But somehow it doesn't sound quite right listening to it with the other cues. It's not that the vocalist is bad, it's that the sound isn't pleasant. It is downright annoying to be quite frank. Oh, and did I mention that it's a prominent theme? Unfortunately the "King John Theme" makes it's way into several of the cues presented on the soundtrack album.
But that factor aside, Ironclad is an amazing, action-filled, medieval score. It's bold and gritty, but the finished sound is nothing short of epic! Do yourself a favor and check out: Ironclad by Lorne Balfe.

Did I mention that this score is epic?

Cues For Your Listening Pleasure


This cue, Final Resolution, displays the amazing choral sound that Balfe created in the score.

   In this closing cue, Corvus Cantus, you hear the weird, "King John Theme". Remain steadfast! The cue goes into all of the other amazing themes presented on the album. It's very rewarding!

Rating: ***1/2


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