Album Reviews, Rock — April 2, 2013 at 3:08 pm

REVIEW: Mogwai – Les Revenants

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Mogwai - Les Revenants

Artist Name: Mogwai
Title Name: Les Revenants
Label: Rock Action Records / Love Da Records
Reviewed by: Indran Paramasivam

 7.5

Les Revenants—“the ones who came back”.  The undead have always proven to be a reliably vivid force for creative expression. From Dawn of the Dead to The Walking Dead, the trajectory of the human drama of having to deal with the newly—and menacingly—“returned” has been a campy, exciting, and, ultimately, storied one. Les Revenants, a French TV series about the return of the dearly departed is the latest to add to the tradition of off-kilter reincarnation. Yet, there are differences here, in plot, and, in spirit, that drive a deep wedge between it and the other examples of zombie fare. For one, Les Revenants isn’t about reanimated carcasses stricken by bloodlust or about some nefarious virus that turns people into not-quite-dead cannibals. Mining the emotional, physical and psychological ordeal that both the living and undead encounter as they come to terms with the painfully new reality of having to live and share their lives with one another, Les Revenants is a gorgeously and poignantly conceived collection of episodes that does so much to further the genre and to create vaster spaces to be explored within it.

Enter, Mogwai. Approached to provide a soundtrack for the series, the band delivers an eponymous recording of music that is beautifully and engagingly involved with the action of the show. Consisting of instrumentals except for a cover the gospel classic, “What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?”, Mogwai’s Les Revenants is a commendably faithful accompaniment to the show. Uncomplicated in structure, the songs are expertly crafted articulators of mood and emotion. Danger and anguish are lushly, expressionistically communicated in a swirl of strings and notes, as chords and cymbals washes define the expansive scale of each song, throughout the album. Don’t expect the usual build-and-burst aesthetic that Mogwai traffics in. Les Revenants is quieter, but chillingly alive.

As a combined product of visuals and music, both the film and its soundtrack are singularly compelling. Les Revenants will surely be celebrated for the absorbing experience that it is.

 

Watch The Revenants’ trailer (no subtitles):

 

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Les Revenants (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - Mogwai

 

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