Krull – music by James Horner

Krull soundtrackKrull! If that word conjures up images of Kevin Sorbo and swords and sorcery…well, you’re in the wrong place. That was Kull The Conqueror. Krull was a big-budget 1983 popcorn flick featuring Kenneth Marshall and swords and sorcery, and it was practically designed to be the next Star Wars. Needless to say…it wasn’t. While it brought the concept of throwing stars to the attention of a great many youngsters (myself included), Krull wasn’t a box office smash. And much as I hate to say it, perhaps its soundtrack has something to do with that.

I’ll admit, however, that what is stated above is my opinion alone, and it’s not one shared by soundtrack collectors or film music fans for the most part. James Horner’s Krull soundtrack is revered, and this 2-CD version released in the 1990s by the now-defunct internet soundtrack specialty shop is considered particularly desirable on the collectors’ circuit. But when I listen to it, what hits my ears sounds like the music from Star Trek II, cut-and-pasted around a bit so it doesn’t sound exactly the same. Even the arrangements and the balance of instruments used is nearly identical. I do like the heraldic blasts of brass the punctuate the more heroic moments of the music, but so much of the bulk of Krull‘s music is borrowed from The Wrath Of Khan that it’s not funny – I already paid for this same music once. (See also: Horner’s music from Aliens.)

3 out of 4To be fair, though, I will give Horner some praise for his attempts to differentiate Krull from his previous work. There’s a cuttingly siren-like descending synth note in the attack scenes involving the Black Fortress minions that, while it’s a bit dated now, does indeed jump right out, grab you by the neck and telegraphs “bad news!” straight into your ears. “Ride Of The Firemares”, even with its own borrowed passages, is simply one of the best things Horner’s ever put in front of an orchestra.These new developments to what seems like very familiar material are interesting…but I’d be more inclined to adjust my thinking of Horner from unoriginality to an artist who keeps revisiting a theme until he’s perfected it if I hadn’t had to pay good money to hear every “work in progress” stage of that theme.

Order this CDDisc One:

  1. Main Title & Colwyn’s Arrival (7:34)
  2. The Slayers Attack (9:20)
  3. Quest For The Glaive (7:23)
  4. Ride To The Waterfall (0:54)
  5. Lyssa In The Fortress (1:29)
  6. The Walk To The Seer’s Cave (4:10)
  7. The Seer’s Vision (2:19)
  8. Battle In The Swamp (2:40)
  9. Quicksand (3:39)
  10. The Changeling (4:04)
  11. Colwyn and Lyssa (Love Theme) (2:38)

Disc Two:

  1. Leaving The Swamp (2:00)
  2. The Widow’s Web (6:19)
  3. The Widow’s Lullaby (5:02)
  4. Vella (3:47)
  5. Ynyr’s Death (1:42)
  6. Ride Of The Firemares (5:23)
  7. Battle Of The Parapets (2:53)
  8. Inside The Black Fortress (6:15)
  9. The Death Of The Beast and The Destruction of the Dark Fortress (8:32)
  10. Epilogue & End Title (4:50)

Released by: Super Collector / Supertracks
Release date: 1998
Disc one total running time: 46:10
Disc two total running time: 46:43