Extremely artistic and unacceptably overlooked masterpiece by David Michod – The Rover – has an equally disturbing and fascinating soundtrack. Composed by Antony Partos and Sam Petty, it’s a piece of climatic, ominous music, which uses its own language to tell the story of the abyssal, forgotten world of the film.
The official soundtrack is a set of scores composed by various artists, but the leading ones were Antony Partos and Sam Petty. The first tracks of the score, composed by Tortoise and Peter Boyd respectively – Four-Day Interval and Arrival – set a very mysterious mood, marked by screeching, electronically enhanced violins and lots of ethereal, pulsating vibes. The disturbing ambience is even further examined with consecutive works by assisting composer on the score, Sam Petty. His Crossfire marks the second best track on the album – the track feels as dry as the sun-scorched desert, where the film takes place, also giving grounds to the main theme of the film.
Partos’ first track on the album reimagines the desert setting. Campfire feels a bit off from the previous parts, with the leading sound of a flute and accompanying percussion. Petty’s Déjà vu, based on Crossfire, reaches deeper into the ominous sound design, being more discordant than the previous compositions, again heading the soundtrack towards darker places. Finally, Partos emerges with what could be one of his finest composing achievements – Homecoming. From the beginning, the track feels strangely distant, slowly building itself up to a mixture of rich string crescendo, with echoing voices in the background, to slowly leave the trace of forlorn hope. Chills down the spine guaranteed.
Although Homecoming is the absolute peak of the album, the consecutive tracks also bear the power to grasp the attention of the listener. Especially the screeching composition played on the electronic violin, entitled Bonfire, is very imaginative, capturing the film’s dark atmosphere perfectly. There are some worse parts too – Crystal Waters by Matthias Loibner feels a bit unmatched and too experimental, even for such score. Finally, the last praiseworthy composition is Two Themes for Rey by Sam Petty – more classic piece, with gentle piano and the Homecoming background used to keep in the surreal tone.
Sam Petty and Antony Partos assembled a glorious team to provide one of the most profound pieces of ambient film music. Full of overwhelming darkness, resembling the ubiquitous void, which pumps out of The Rover, this particular soundtrack is definitely one of my favorite ones.