Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Revenge of the Thirty-Day Song Challenge - Day 7

Day 7 – A Song from a Movie Trailer

It’s happened to all of us at one point or another: sometimes, a trailer comes along that’s better than the actual movie it’s promoting. Killer editing tricks and careful pacing can help to do the trick (it also helps if the actual film in question sucks), but, for me, the best trailers are the ones with the best music. Good trailer music can provide a solid foundation for the trailer to rest its action on, or it can jump to the front and overwhelm everything with its sheer majesty. Today’s entry definitely occupies the latter camp, and is one of the better trailers that I’ve come across for a movie I haven’t seen.

Coheed & Cambria – “Welcome Home”

A few years ago, an odd duck of an animated feature called 9 released in theaters, doing kinda okay at the box office before quietly exiting the public consciousness. I’m not sure why the film didn’t do well in theaters (or what it did to deserve placing second behind I Can Do Bad All By Myself), but it sure wasn’t because of the trailer. Opening with sparse narration, 9’s trailer does little to contextualize itself, riding instead on the imagination of its visuals, rhythm of its editing, and the classic stand-by sensation that s@$# is going down.

And then there’s the music. I am positive that the trailer for 9 would not be half as fricking sweet if it weren’t for the lead single from Coheed & Cambria’s third full-length release, Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness (yeah, I know). Goodness knows what compelled them to write it, but somewhere along the line, the Nyack, New York prog-group decided that they really, really wanted to make an epic metal song, and that it had damn well better include the biggest riff they could possibly create. It’s this riff that powers nearly all of the trailer’s use of “Welcome Home,” and its titanic hook and giant symphonic backing give it a reaching, epic feel that most tentpole trailers would kill for.

“Welcome Home” is a continuation of the story established by concept band Coheed & Cambria, though recounting the song’s plot would require three more pages of back-exposition, so I generally take it at face-value. As an album opener, which it basically is, when you take out the two introduction tracks, it’s fantastic; the aforementioned riff kicks the listener in the teeth, and the length and grandeur of the song lets them know of how massive and sprawling this album will be. The immediate four songs help sell the entire rest of the album, but, for me, it all starts with “Welcome Home.” The fact that it’s playable on Rock Band certainly helps sell it for me, but I’m like that.

Huge guitar solos, grand-sounding choral parts, and a bloated run time give “Welcome Home” a feeling of majesty that isn’t often found in music today, but as well as it’s executed, I’ll be damned if it doesn’t deserve it.

PS - Because I can, here's the trailer:

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