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Kubrick *
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  • On Soulsavers' second release in 2015 (the first being Angels & Ghosts with Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan), they decided to go fully instrumental. Rich Machin -- one of the two Soulsavers -- found himself with a bit of an obsession with the films of Stanley Kubrick. Falling for the detail and mood of each movie, he decided to make an orchestral album inspired by some of the director's most famous works. Named for characters from these films, the Soulsavers aimed to capture the emotion and atmosphere of each one. What results is, oddly enough, a lush work of gorgeous beauty for such dense and oftentimes disturbing movies. "DeLarge" (Alex, of A Clockwork Orange) and "Clay" (Johnny, of The Killing) are sweeping tracks, poignantly beautiful as they shimmer along on the orchestra's strings. That section amps up the chills on "Torrance" (Jack, of The Shining), a swelling tune that would sound perfectly appropriate at the Overlook. Midway through the album, some muscle pushes its way in on "Dax" (the Colonel of Paths of Glory), in the form of ominous drums, and on "Joker" (James T. Davis of Full Metal Jacket) by way of some sleazy desert guitar licks that sound like an Angels & Ghosts outtake. 2001: A Space Odyssey gets its nod on "Hal," a reflective, piano-tickling hymn that soothes as much as fills the listener with despair, before picking up seamlessly with the plaintive "Mandrake" (Lionel, of Dr. Strangelove). The final song (notably from Kubrick's final movie) belongs to Victor Ziegler of Eyes Wide Shut. Like the rest of this inspired collection, it's pretty on the surface and bubbling with dread. Whether a casual listener or the Soulsavers themselves, fans of Kubrick's films can still feel his influence. Fans of either (or both) will no doubt get a kick out of this collection. ~ Neil Z. Yeung
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