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Arn – The Knight Templar (Tuomas Kantelinen)

May 19, 2014

Synchrotones’ Microtones Review… all of the opinion, less of the words.


Cover_ArnARN: THE KNIGHT TEMPLAR

Tuomas Kantelinen, 2007, Bonnier Music
23 tracks, 45:28

What is it? Long before “Hercules“, Tuomas Kantelinen flexed his muscles on “Arn: The Knight Templar”. Arn, the son of a Swedish nobleman is sent to the Holy Land as a knight templar to do penance for a forbidden love. Two films were made, both with a lot of music, but only music from the first film found its way on to an album.

What does it sound like? The album is book-ended by two versions of the song “Sno”, beautifully performed by “Laleh”. It houses a gorgeous, lyrical melody. Kantelinen’s “Templar Theme” is equally lush, with a grand feel to it. Fans of the composer will quickly recognise his signature style (listen to the chord changes). The theme recurs many times. In “To Varnhams” it is performed by choir and solo voice; whilst in “From Boy to Man” is receives the adventurous treatment. It reaches epic proportions during the score’s finale. There is plenty of beautifully reflective material here, such as the string-heavy “Adagio”, “Love Theme” and the stunning “Gratias” (which introduces a heartwarming secondary theme, with some Doyle-esque chords). With the crusades as its subject matter, the inclusion of choir shouldn’t come as a surprise, and there is plenty of it here! The overall sound is quite religious, though there is also some exciting action and percussion tp be found in cues like “Desert Chase” and “Arabic Arrival”. One could argue there are some very superficial resemblances to “Lord of the Rings”, “Braveheart” and maybe even “Thin Red Line”. They are minor similarities, and largely due to similar chord progressions or atmospheres.

Is it any good? Probably one of Kantelinen’s best; and yet hardest to find. A CD was released, but it is painfully hard to come by outside of Scandinavia (though in some countries it is simply available on iTunes; mostly Scandinavian countries and Poland, I believe). One personal pet-peeve and minor nitpick though: some tracks are clearly made up from multiple cues, which is something I don’t like – I’d rather have a separate tracks. Overall, a lyrical, grand and gorgeous score.

Rating [4/5]


Review by Pete Simons, (c) Synchrotones

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