Aria Prayogi, Fajar Yuskemal ‎– The Raid (Complete Original Indonesian Score)

3 out of 5

Label: Mondo

Produced by: Aria Prayogi, Fajar Yuskemal

The Raid is maybe not an incredible film – it definitely gets rather exhaustive towards the end, and it’s very slim on plot – but it definitely proved that director Gareth Evans had skill behind the lens, and mostly achieved a desire to make something that lands a bit heavier than your usual rock’em sock’em flicks.  The comparison of the original Indonesian score, from Aria Prayogi and Fajar Yuskemal, to the US Linkin Park soundtrack, underlines this even more, not to mention being suggestive of how such a film was required to be marketed to we locals.  Not that The Raid isn’t a brutal action movie, befitting of some good ol’ distorted guitars, but that there’s definitely some patience and grace leading up to the most visceral outlets of that that’s best captured on the original.  We get interesting notes of almost Western themes – highlighting the isolation of the main characters – and certainly some Carpenter-esque horror beats, which is another genre early portions of the movie fall in to, tip-toeing to the excellent B-side, when Prayogi and Yuskemal let loose with the heavy metal thrash.

While this makes for a perfect movie score – and seriously, go watch the film with the alternating soundtracks and note the different experiences – it’s not as defined as a standalone listen, unfortunately.  The A-side is rather thin without the visuals to accompany it, and makes then B-side stand out as the clear winner, especially when it’s concluded with two awesome ‘Raid’ theme variations, from Indonesian band Sigmun and the composers themselves.  It’s still absolutely worth a listen – especially that latter half, which completely works on its own – but may come across as a little open-ended and unremarkable without the movie in mind.

Mondo’s packaging on this is, of course, awesome, with a groovy colored splatter combo in the vinyl that captures the horrific dreck splashed about liberally in the movie, and a well-chosen illustration for the movie’s central climb-the-tower concept.  Also includes heartfelt notes from the composers and Evans kinda-sorta confession that he prefers the original score.