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The Final Conflict
Not your Mother's Omen. -Isaac Engelhorn (11/19/2001)
Track List:
  1. Main Title 3:26
  2. The Ambassador 4:48
  3. Trial Run 2:12
  4. The Monastery 3:14
  5. A T.V. First 2:48
  6. The Statue 4:11
  7. The Second Coming 3:22
  8. Electric Storm 5:19
  9. The Hunt 4:00
  10. The Blooding 3:36
  11. Lost Children 3:42
  12. 666 3:00
  13. Parted Hair 6:33
  14. The Iron 2:28
  15. The Final Conflict

Total Time: (62:42)

Composed by:
Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrated by:
Arthur Morton

Conducted by:
Lionel Newman

Performed by:
The National Philharmonic Orchesra

If there is one thing that makes Jerry Goldsmith well-known, apart from his immense talent, it is the fact that he has crafted tons of unforgettable and wonderful scores for tons of bad movies, and The Final Conflict is a very good case-in-point. The film has to be one of the most embarassing things that I have ever seen; so bad, in fact, that I would find it hard to believe that Sam Neill would ever want to admit that he was associated with it. The first time I watched it, my mouth was wide open and I was squinting with one eye (you know the look).

Considering this, it truly makes my mind boggle at what kind of effort it must have taken for Jerry to pen such a miracle. And miracle is the perfect word to describe it, since that particular word has a lot to do with the plot. Briefly, Damien is a grown man who is now threatened by the second coming of Christ, hence the miracle. As is mentioned in the fantastic liner notes by Robert Townson, the "Christ" aspect of the film has much to do with the meat of the score, making it relate quite closely, as is also mentioned in the liner notes, to the biblical scores penned by Miklos Rosza in the 1950s, like Ben-Hur or King of Kings. While this is not quite on the level of those scores it comes rather close, always challenging, yet always invigorating and fun. Rarely, if ever, does it simply become a horrific shock-fest of dissonant choral music, like the first two scores in the trilogy.

This time, the music that relates to Damien himself is actually quite beautiful, rather than intentionally apalling, as it was in the first two films. For example, this time he is given a huge, memorable theme. The best track, in my opinion, is undoubtedly "The Hunt", which is easily the best showcase for this grand theme. The scene itself in the movie, while still ridiculous, is actually one of the better horror scenes from the series. Basically, if you would like to hear any sort of huge theme played incredible loudly by low brass, then this track is for you.

As I understand it, this new release by Varese Sarabande corrects much of the trouble with bad sound quality from the original CD release, which I think was also on Varese around 1990. Apart from the inclusion of a few new tracks, is the addition of much of the material from the cue, "The Final Conflict". My favorite part of the finale is the huge performance of the "miracle" music, which is truly outstanding, even compared to the rest of this great score. Though the music in the film ends triumphantly, the end credit material continues with the Damien theme. The final seconds of the album are also interesting, as the track fades out with an odd choral effect, much like the giggling children's choir at the end of Poltergeist, this ends on an odd whispering effect.

Though calling this score a "landmark" in Goldsmith's career would seem a bit cliche, I'm gonna say it anyway. This score is a landmark in Goldsmith's career, and it deserves to be heard by anyone who is interested in the music from The Omen trilogy. Just don't go in thinking that you're going to get a huge black mass like you would with the albums from the first two scores. The running time on this new CD gets a little aggrivating after a while, but it's nothing that hurts too badly. As I always say, nobody's going to stop you from hitting the skip button, and in some instances, nobody's gonna blame you, so if you see this disc on a store rack, pick it up.


The Final Conflict is Copyright 1981/2001 Varese Sarabande. Produced by Jerry Goldsmith. The Deluxe Edition produced by Robert Townson. This review is written by and is the property of Isaac Engelhorn and does not reflect the opinions of Tripod.