The Grey (OST): Marc Streitenfeld (Lakeshore Records)
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Released back in January The Grey was a survival movie – following a plane crash a group of oil workers tried to survive whilst also being hunted by a pack of wolves. The film got reasonable reviews but what was the soundtrack like? Read on to find out.

Marc Streitenfeld may not be a household name yet, but with his work on the highly anticipated Prometheus (2012) just about to be released upon the world, all that may soon change. His work so far has been primarily associated with director Ridley Scott, who produced ”ËœThe Grey’.

We are immediately thrust into bleakness. There is no sugar coating, nor gentle coaxing into Streitenfeld’s world. His minimalist tracks (some no more than a minute or two long) offer scattered images and brief glimpses into a world of deceptive calm. Sometimes whilst listening, you find your mind wandering, only to be commanded back to attention before realising that things have progressed faster than you can keep up with.

In other words, it loses you. Intentionally so. It is a score that stays several steps ahead of the listener, and be wary when comfort is presented, for it may well be temporary. It is a remarkably subtle piece of work, the density and content of which belie its astonishingly brief 35 minute running time.

Familiarity with the film is not essentially necessary, but the added fulfilment which is provided from doing so is somewhat astonishing. The central themes of isolation and fear, dependence and will to survive all manifest themselves within the light strings and piano of Streitenfeld’s work. The shortness of the tracks only leaves you wanting so much more from them, a worthy and admirable trait.

It is a hugely adaptable piece of music, and by that I mean that it not only perfectly accompanies the movie, but that it has now taken a solid place amongst my most listened to albums of this year so far. The plain, stripped down nature of it will not appeal to those who like their movie scores abrasive, upfront and booming, but for the patient and receptive listener there is much to be gained.

An absolutely beautiful and intelligently structured soundtrack album which continually provides something new upon every visitation.

For more info on ”ËœThe Grey’ go here.

All words Colin McCracken. More Louder Than War articles by Colin can be found here. Colins blog is & he tweets from @zombiehamster.

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Colin McCracken is an Irish writer and cinematic obsessive who writes extensively about movies on a daily basis for his website He is equally passionate about vinyl (he used to run an independent record store), literature, live music and film soundtracks. He can also be found regularly on twitter as @zombiehamster.


  1. […] Streitenfeld high enough. It was only a few weeks ago I was writing about the work he did on (the Ridley Scott produced survivalist movie) \’The Grey\’ and he really ups the ante with the Prometheus OST. It maintains his minimalistic approach to […]


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