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The Calm Blue Sea - Siegfried: An Original Score by The Calm Blue Sea CD (album) cover

SIEGFRIED: AN ORIGINAL SCORE BY THE CALM BLUE SEA

The Calm Blue Sea

 

Post Rock/Math rock

4.00 | 3 ratings

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JLocke
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Calm Blue Sea first caught my ears earlier this year when I stumbled upon them completely by chance in search of free, legal music to download. Their first, self-titled album was very good, but still lacked a certain ''something'' that I felt was sorely needed in order to get more than a standard 3 star rating from me. Luckily, they have done a much better job of creating that epic, Post-Rock feel with their second entry.

Now it's near the year's end, and I've been able to feast my ears on studio release number two. It is an original film score to the 1924 silent film, ''Die Nibelungen: Siegfried'' , directed by Fritz Lang. I'm not sure why the band chose to score an already existing film, but you have to admit, the idea is quite cool! And since it's a silent film, watching the imagery along side the music found in the album is very worth hearing. I've had the pleasure of watching the film with the new score, and the band truly does a great job of setting the mood, expressing the characters' emotions and moving the plot forward all through their music only, as it has to carry all that weight when scoring for a film without any sound.

I do want to get to the music itself in a moment, but some of you may be curious if watching ''Siegfried'' with this album echoes the experiences we had with ''The Dark Side of Oz'', and the short answer is no. The long answer is noooooooooooooooooooo . . . While the music does compliment the scenery it has been written for as the film plays, the occurances in which musical beats actually ''sync up'' with specific moments in the film are rare. The band isn't out for cheap thrills in this, and frankly, I would think that purposely lining up the music to already-existing imagery would be a hinderance to the music itself. No, no . . . what you're going to experience if you do choose to watch the silent film while listening to the album is much like what you would experience if you watched any other film with it's musical score turned up. The music will indeed help dictate the tone and atmosphere of the scenes, and the emotions will fit very nicely, but that's about it. So, nothing 'magical', here . . . just a very well-done alternate soundtrack. And it IS obvious to me that the band members watched the film numerous times in order to 'fit' the music in correctly with what is happening in the film. All you have to do is begin the film with simultaneously hitting ''play'' on your CD or Mp3 player, and you're ready to experience the complete audio AND visual ''Siegfried''.

Final verdict in terms of matching the music to the film itself is that they succeeded with flying colors. It isn't easy writing scores for film, especially one that already exists, but somehow they did it. Action sequences feel just as pulse-pounding as any modern-day film, and all of that is due to the music! Really, you must find this film and watch it along WITH the album, because it really gives extra depth to both.

The music itself is simply fantastic. Much better than their first entry, and this is only a year or so later. Much progress has been made, and I am VERY impressed by how much more depth and emotion comes through this music than on the first record. Particularly on the song ''The Dragon'', in which Siegfried slays a mammoth beast and then bathes in its blood (you know the story, don't you?), I truly felted enlightened in a way during the moment when Siegfried first is able to hear the animals of the forest. And of course, when watching the film alongside hearing the music, the visuals also make for great assistance at getting the full point of the scene across.

If you haven't yet given The Calm Blue Sea a listen, I actually feel like this is the best place to start. It serves as a great introduction and just so happens to also be the band's best work yet! How are they going to top this? I really don't know, yet I hope that they do. Just wonderful, emotional, heart-wrenching music for the soul (even though I no longer believe an actual 'soul' exists within us, that is the only term that can properly encompass what this album does for me). These guys have managed to beautifully enhance and revitalize an old classic, while simultaneously creating a brand new masterpiece of their own. Both pieces can stand alone, yet work best when experienced together. This is a true masterwork; genius of the highest degree. ''Siegfried'' exemplifies just what true art can be when given a chance to breath, and the artists creating it aren't afraid to think outside of the box. Truly progressive music, and a very, very strong 4.5 out of 5.

JLocke | 4/5 |

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