All Against All – Review on

ALL AGAINST ALL/Kristian Sensini/Kronos – CD
This superbly tense political thriller score from Italian composer Kristian Sensini (HYDE’S SECRET NIGHTMARE, ROCKS IN MY POCKETS, KUARTETS) provides an engaging score in the classic Italian fashion. The 2019 film is a drama immersed in elements of politics, electoral fraud, and the decay of moral values, taking place in a fictional Alpine town wherein a corrupt mayor, about to lose an election, engages a criminal to ensure he wins. The film’s director Andrej Košak’s said of his composer, “I think I have found my Ennio Morricone. Kristian has made a score which perfectly suits my film.” Sensini’s music accommodates a number of brusque, staccato permutations that lend a marvelous tone of anxiety to the film that is both unnerving and captivating on CD. The 13 ½-minute track “Puzzle Pieces” is a masterful work, opening with taut piano arpeggios, menacing cycles of high-end paired woodwind figures, eerie synth echoes, threatening woodwinds over throbbing plunks of bass guitar and various percussive elements that grows in its impending journey from tentative apprehension to fully immersive dread, its aggressive elements bridged by an array of full-on atonal warbles, twinges of electric guitar, haunting piano figures over suspended pads of sound, even a bit of echoing prog rock riffing from the guitar and bass around two thirds in, which opens into a melodic progression of keyboard and flicks of guitar strings, reprising the woodwind chorus over progressive steps of guitar chords to conclude the track. It’s a completely immersive track and one of the score’s most engaging pieces. Throughout the film, Sensini’s mix of dark orchestral flavors with electric guitars and synths give the film both a modern sonic treatment and inflect the film’s suspense and the mayor’s venality with an entangling unease. A more melodic tone is heard in the concluding “All The Major’s Women,” which provides a beautiful, growing romantic melody that still managed to reflect a certain something of haunting darkness even in the sultry loveliness of its tune. This is a thoroughly absorbing score that maintains the listener’s interest from start to finish. Highly recommended!
The CD is limited to 200 copies. For more details, see Kronos.