Soundtrack Review: Snowpiercer

SnowpiercerMusic Composed and Produced by: Marco Beltrami

Release Date: May 27, 2014

Format: Audio CD or Digital Download

Number of Discs: 1

Label: Varese Sarabande

It’s been 17 years since we froze the earth. The few remaining humans live on the Snowpiercer, a train on an infinite loop around the globe. For those at the front, it’s a lavish paradise of drugs and sushi in the lap of luxury; for those trapped in the tail section, life is short and cruel.

But change is in the air. Curtis (Chris Evans), desperate to escape the tail of the train, plans an uprising, aided by his mentor Gilliam (John Hurt). What begins as an isolated riot explodes into a mass revolution, an all-or-nothing push to go to the front of the train, and a war for humanity’s future. Who will live and who will die? How far can they go? Is there hope beyond the frozen wastes?

Snowpiercer is creative and heart-breakingly beautiful as it follows lower class citizens as they try to survive at the back of a train filled with other classes of people, all of them separate, traveling perpetually on and on through a nuclear winter. The music is a perfect match. More than a match. It is a necessary component of completing the mood.

In fact, this movie would have been completely lost with a terrible soundtrack. The life blood of Snowpiercer is the mood and the mood is nothing without the music. In a recent press release composer Marco Beltrami said the following.

Although the film is set in the future, it’s also sort of backwards in some respects. The film’s a mix of certain scenes which are more synthetically achieved and processed, and sounds that might be acoustically based but are really electronic, and then some things that are more classical sounding.

You can hear the industrial sound of the opening tracks that are dark and foreboding and give rise to later tracks around uprising and rebellion. Character tracks like Yona’s Theme and Snow Melt (yes, I’m counting the snow as a character rather than a setting) are less industrial but are dark with violins that almost take on a human quality.

I created three basic themes for SNOWPIERCER. The first was the perpetual motion theme that I had to figure out early. The second was a theme to represent the frozen world outside the train; a world that was foreign to the people on the train, yet also familiar to them like the remembrance of a past memory. The third was based on the emotional substance of the characters, which to me, was represented by Yona. This became Yona’s theme, which is woven throughout the film. Every cue was guided by these three themes.”

Track Listing:
1. This Is The End
2. Stomp
3. Preparation
4. Requesting An Upgrade
5. Take The Engine
6. Axe Gang
7. Axe Schlomo
8. Blackout Fight
9. Water Supply
10. Go Ahead
11. Sushi
12. The Seven
13. We Go Forward
14. Steam Car
15. Seoul Train
16. Snow Melt
17. Take My Place
18. Yona Lights
19. This Is The Beginning
20. Yona’s Theme

I do feel the progression through the themes but I identify them less with an inside/outside look of the train and more of a growing deeper introspective of the characters. I’m doing it again. I’m calling the train a character too. This movie is just like that. There are people and a train and snow, and all of them are dynamic characters that are felt through this music.

I give Snowpiercer Soundtrack Five out of Five Stars.



Snowpiercer Soundtrack is available for download from Amazon; here’s the link:

Jess Orso
Written by Jess Orso

Jess is the Managing Editor and Southern Correspondent for