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From Hell Soundtrack


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Audio CD, Soundtrack, October 16, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

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If twin-brother filmmakers Allen and Albert Hughes wanted to deliberately mess with their reputation as masters of the contemporary black urban milieu, they couldn't have chosen a better vehicle than a faithful adaptation of Alan Moore's graphic novel and its ominous exploits of notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper on the shadowy streets of Victorian London. This soundtrack album opens with the "Wormwood Remix" of Marilyn Manson's Holy Wood single "The Nobodies," an obvious bow to contemporary marketing that nevertheless sets the proper tone with its bleak ethos and jagged rhythms.

But it's the dark, brooding score of largely unsung South African composer Trevor Jones that's the real focus here. Jones's masterful use of orchestral color and pacing, punctuated by slight percussive, choral, and electronic flourishes, paints a musical landscape as bleak as it is suspenseful. The composer's use of melody is spare, deliberate, and minor key, helping to infuse the score with a very human sense of melancholy even as it tightens the screws of dramatic tension. The concluding track, "Bow Belle (Absinthium)," offers up the strangest treat: a swirling, psychedelic cocktail of twisted, 19th-century ballroom gentility and contemporary digital sorcery that seems to crackle through a gramophone player. --Jerry McCulley


1. The Nobodies [Wormwood Remix]
2. In Memoriam
3. Royal Connections
4. A Sprig of Red Grapes
5. Whitechapel Murders
6. Chasing the Dragon
7. Portrait of a Prince
8. The Compass and the Ruler
9. Marylebone Workhouse
10. Investigation
11. Death Coach
12. Pennies for the Ferryman
13. Bow Belle (Absinthium)

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 16, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: October 19, 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Varese Sarabande
  • ASIN: B00005QK23
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #277,779 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 24, 2002
Format: Audio CD
The horror/suspense genre has continually turned out some of the best film scores ever (think THE OMEN, ALIEN, INTERVIEW with the VAMPIRE, PSYCHO, JACOB'S LADDER, HELLRAISER II, etc.) yet its composers' work (Hermann, Goldenthal, Jarre, Young) goes largely overlooked and underappreciated. One of the masters of the genre (Howard Shore of David Cronenberg fame) got his due this past year (rightfully so) w/ his masterful score for LORD OF THE RINGS. However, 2001 also saw another masterful score from Trevor Jones, a man who hits a career high with his take on themes such as love, death, disease, desire, addiction, remorse, melancholy, and rememberence. To be sure, this is a "dark" score, as "high gothic" as any Requiem or cathedral in France. The score here expands past the limits of the film's narrative (that of Jack the Ripper) and soars into a larger territory, probing ultimately the dark & foggy territory of the lusciously unknown. Of course, we could do w/o the Manson song at the beginning (there to make some extra money for the studio no doubt) but the start of the score (track 2) more than makes up for this mistake, offering the listener a suite of sorts encompassing most of the themes and motifs to be elaborated on over the course of the entire score. Not only is this track worth the price of this cd but it also showcases why Trevor Jones now joins the ranks of the contemporary masters.
(Also give a listen to Han Zimmer's score for HANNIBAL if you like this one.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 27, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Trevor Jones provides a solid if not spectacular soundtrack for "From Hell," which is actually a good thing. I have seen too many horror films where the chills are supposed to come from the loud and omnipresent musical score instead of the action on screen. The Hughes Brothers had the story of Jack the Ripper to work with and while they actually did not get as explicit as the historical record allowed them with regards to the Ripper's victims, there is enough that the music is required to add to the scenes and not carry them.
Obvious Jones is trying to come up with a gothic score with Victorian overtones (or visa versa; either way, both elements are equally strong). Because it is a horror film the use of strings is important, but Jones does this without falling into the "Psycho" psychotic slashing mode, which explains why the Academy of St. Martins in the Field was the orchestra of choice. They are going to give Jones the period feel that he wants for this score. There are even some Chinese touches, reflecting the opium den frequented once too often by the film's hero. Yes, opening the album with the "Wormwood Mix" of Marilyn Manson's single "The Nobodies" is a marketing ploy, but then it is the rare soundtrack that does not have some recognizable voice pop up in the closing credits and starting singing a song. But even with that track leading off the album there is still over an hour's worth of music from Trevor's score (most of the tracks are 5-8 minutes in length).
"In Memoriam" establishes the main theme of the film through a nice mixture of strings and choir that belies for the moment the horrors ahead.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By derek glidewell on January 28, 2002
Format: Audio CD
"From Hell" is a magnificent score, you not only get a dark and suspenseful score that we've come to expect from a horror film, but you also get a calm and relaxing score too. "From Hell" starts out with a good track by Marilyn Manson, entitled "The Nobodies", and then starts the score with "In Memorian", which is quite peaceful for the most part. The whole score is outstanding, but I think "The compass and the ruler" is a memorable track because the first 20 seconds sound like it's playing from an old phonograph. My favorite track is "Bow Belle (Absinthium)", I really enjoy listening to it because, like the beginning of "The compass and the ruler", it sounds like it's being played from a phonograph, and I think it's an ironic way to end a horror score with such an "uplifting" track.
"From Hell" is up with Bennett Salvay's "Jeepers Creepers" as my favorite scores of 2001. Why it's one of my favorite scores of 2001 is because Trevor Jones composed a diverse and unique mixture of suspense and calmness to create an excellent score, instead of conforming with the typical jolting horror score, now don't get me wrong, I love the jolting scores that are essential to a horror film, I just think it's good to have a change. "From Hell" is a must for fans of the film and for those who like horror scores, and even those who just like instrumental music will probably enjoy it as well.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tom Heistuman on October 10, 2003
Format: Audio CD
To anyone saying that they bought this cd or went to go see this movie for the song "Reflect (Time)/Tree Whispers" by Billy Corgan: you deserve your disappointment. The trailer to a movie will have different music than the film itself for obvious reasons. To say that one would want to go see a movie based on that one song is preposterous.

For the music itself, it is wonderful. It portrays the mood and feeling of the movie it represents. 4 out of 5 stars is not bad but there is a reason. The music is representative of it's source material and not entirely enjoyable unless one has seen the movie. In other words, it doesn't stand entirely on it's own two feet. But it is wonderful and definitely worth your money if you enjoyed the movie, it's mood and it's music.
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