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Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two – Soundtrack Review

REVIEWS

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One and Two
Studio: WaterTower Music
Release Date: Digital – October 22, 2021
Press Release: Click Here

Synopsis: WaterTower Music is proud to release the original score soundtrack for the animated features Batman: The Long Halloween Part One and Batman: The Long Halloween Part Two. Both films feature music by multi-talented film and television composer Michael Gatt. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, DC and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, the movies were released in 2021, garnering widespread critical acclaim. The feature-length animated film was inspired by the iconic mid-1990’s DC story from Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. The soundtrack album is titled Batman: The Long Halloween – Part One & Two (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) and is available to purchase and stream, as are both animated features.

Track list:
1. The Long Halloween Begins (3:07)
2. It Isn’t Forever (2:11)
3. Ambush (2:45)
4. Burn It Down (0:58)
5. Chase into Chinatown (2:29)
6. Never in Line (2:20)
7. She Looked Like a Gilda (3:20)
8. Yacht Quartet (2:36)
9. A Splash of Color (2:21)
10. Crappy New Year! (4:42)
11. Heir to Oblivion (3:40)
12. The Long Halloween Part One End Credits (2:12)
13. The Long Halloween Part Two Main Title (2:06)
14. Poison Puppet (3:33)
15. Knight Terrors (2:12)
16. The Real Batcave (1:42)
17. You’re Dead Dent (2:33)
18. Reborn (0:59)
19. Selena’s Secret (1:40)
20. Uninvited Guests (2:26)
21. Rumble with Rogues (2:52)
22. Execute (2:18)
23. The Long Halloween Part Two End Credits (2:34)


Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One and Two Soundtrack Review
by James Harvey

Unexpected and surprisingly haunting, Michael Gatt’s score to Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One and Part Two is just as dark as it is intriguing. Gatt makes a wealth of interesting choices when it comes to how he unravels the film’s score, emphasizing and supporting the dark, gritty nature of the story without it becoming overbearing. While it possibly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, Gatt easily produces one of the more fascinating DC Comics-based scores in recent years.

Adapting the iconic mid-1990s DC story from Jeph Loeb and the late Tim Sale, the two-part Batman: The Long Halloween animated feature begins as atrocious serial killings perpetrated on holidays in Gotham City sends The World’s Greatest Detective into action. Now, Batman finds himself facing off against a host of costumed foes and the mob, who has close ties to the Wayne family, while at the same time attempting to stop a relentless, mysterious murderer.

Creating the film’s score almost entirely from synthesizers and sound manipulation, Gatt brings an eerie sound to Batman: The Long Halloween that slyly supports the unfolding story. While one expects a grandiose, epic score to go along with a story such as this, instead Gatt laces his score throughout, punctuating big events or key moments while letting others play out with barely a note to be heard. It’s an interesting approach that truly adds to the film’s overall dark, oppressive atmosphere. That said, we do hear some traditional score music here and there, but it’s used minimally and very specifically.

Gatt’s score work here makes for an unexpected juxtaposition against the movies’ distinctive film noir atmosphere, but it works so well. The opening credit theme music (tracks one and thirteen) clearly lets the viewer know the score to Batman: The Long Halloween won’t be something akin to Batman: The Animated Series. Still, Gatt’s unique approach is just as attractive and legitimately mesmeric at times. Thirty seconds into the first track and most listeners should be captivated, or at least interested to see how the rest of the score unfolds.

While the soundtrack plays out better as an overall experience, preferably listening to all tracks in one sitting, there are some which stand out. “Chase into Chinatown” is arranged as we’d expect an action-oriented track to be – fast, intense – but Gatt’s preferred choice of instruments gives it a bit more of a dirtier, grittier edge. To viewers of the last two decades of DC Comics-based animated projects, synthesizers and the like shouldn’t be anything new. But here, how Gatts uses them, adds a novel twist. A later track, “Crappy New Year,” plays out in the same way. It sounds like something you’d expect to hear, but then Gatt makes a few little changes, specifically to the instruments or materials used, which really elevates it.

Gatt mixes it up here, too, making sure to keep the score (and the soundtrack release) from feeling repetitive or monotonous with plenty of note-worthy numbers. The track “Poison Puppet” has a lush, hypnotic tone to it, making it an inviting listen and pitch perfect for a Poison Ivy-centric track. “Knight Terrors” gives off a bit of a high-energy, intense horror vibe, as does “You’re Dead Dent” and “Reborn.” Other stand-out tracks include the calm-yet-mysterious “Selina’s Secret” and “Uninvited Guests” and “Rumble with Rogues,” both tense and fast-paced listens.

To boil it down, Gatt’s work on Batman: The Long Halloween ends up being an unexpected treat. It subverts expectations but still manages to meet them. While this score may disappoint listeners looking for something more in the line of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Under the Red Hood, or even Batman: The Animated Series, Gatt’s work here is never-the-less impressive and attractive. It’s full of bold choices, surprising arrangements and, most importantly, one engaging track after another. It’s not what listeners likely expect, but it’s still damn good.

Unusual and engrossing, Michael Gatt’s work on Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One and Part Two is startling yet absorbing. He doesn’t take the typical approach, but the work he produces is gripping nonetheless, and (more importantly) it absolutely works. It’s an unorthodox release that’s unquestionably worth giving a listen to. Highly Recommended!

Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One and Two is now available from WaterTower Records.


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