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From Hell (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

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Album Review

The Hughes Brothers' film adaptation of the Jack the Ripper graphic novel From Hell features an appropriately tense, moody score by Trevor Jones. Jones uses simmering strings in many of the pieces, such as "Chasing the Dragon," "Death Coach," and "A Sprig of Red Grapes," to convey the growing fear in the Whitechapel district as the serial killer remains unapprehended, as well as the investigator's growing obsession with the crimes and their victims. Pieces like "Marleybone Workhouse," "Pennies for the Ferryman," and "In Memoriam" also capture the film's grim atmosphere in a rich, dramatic style that also works well outside of its context. The score's most intriguing piece is "Bow Belle (Absinthium)," which sounds like a wax cylinder recording of a waltz played underwater, conveying the hallucinatory effects of absinthe perfectly. The inclusion of Marilyn Manson's "The Nobodies (The Wormwood Mix)" is somewhat distracting from the rest of the album's feel, but otherwise From Hell is an effective and entertaining score.


Born: 23 March 1949 in Cape Town, South Africa

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Soundtrack composer Trevor Jones is best known for his work on science fiction fantasies like The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and Dark City, but he has also worked on films ranging from romantic comedy (Notting Hill) to political thriller (13 Days) to action-adventure (Cliffhanger). Born in Capetown, South Africa, Jones left the continent to study at the Royal Academy of Music and the British National Film School. 1981's Excalibur was the first big work he received; within the following 20 years, he...
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