The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is ten years old. Hard to believe, isn’t it? With the release of Avengers: Infinity War, Alan Silvestri was called upon once again to provide the score. Silverstri created a memorable theme for The Avengers back in 2012, which is one of the few Marvel themes to survive past one movie. With so much at stake in Infinity War I had high expectations for the score going in.
It begins, appropriately enough, with “The Avengers”, a soaring rendition of the great Avengers theme. “Travel Delays” is a slower track relying on drawn-out horns before switching to straight-up action and containing a couple solid themes. I assume Thanos might appear here. “No More Surprises” goes to a quieter setting, sounding like a piece where nothing’s wrong- until the sudden change that signals something’s wrong (lower key, slower notes) before building to a brief march and ending.
“He Won’t Come Out” and “Field Trip” provide the first bought of action music in typical Silvestri style- rushing strings, horns punctuating every moment, and the main theme appearing in little chunks. The latter track unveils some great brass riffs. “Wake Him Up” introduces a suspenseful tone, which leads me to believe whoever’s being woken up is powerful. With so many characters in Infinity War it’s hard to guess whom.
“We Both Made Promises” gives us a moment to breath before a sudden horn burst marks the return of action. Silvestri goes full John Williams through the action tracks; with enough horns to almost convince me Williams wrote them. “Help Arrives” sees the Avengers theme proper, with a few added ticks that make it a fortissimo horn-fest. That goes away fast, with the low notes returning from before. Methinks Thanos might be arriving on earth.
“Hand Means Stop/You Go Right” is the second-longest track on the soundtrack at just over seven minutes. As with a lot of long tracks it contains a little bit of everything. Softer moments mix with suspense; suspense gives way to action and back again. Even choir makes a brief appearance. “One Way Ticket” and “Family Affairs” provide some needed quiet moments in between the horns and drums. “Family Affairs” also contains a large amount of suspense and tension, sounding ominously like a villain theme.
Tracks such as “What More Could I Lose?”, “A Small Price” and “Even for You” give us a darker, more foreboding sound than before. “Morning After” and “Is He Always Like This?” do little to raise musical emotions, instead returning to suspense and action. The choir also makes an appearance in the latter track. “More Power” keeps the horns and action rolling and throws in several Avengers theme moments and theme variations.
“Charge!” is among the more charged tracks in the score, starting slow but then flying at you with a fast tempo and copious horns and drums. “Forge” doesn’t quite match the previous track’s intensity, instead replacing it with choir and action motifs before building up to another Avengers theme rendition, very similar in sound to the now-iconic scene from 2012. Whatever buildup was there is initially gone in “Catch” before returning in a head-on collusion of action and dread. “Haircut and a Beard” continues the action. “A Lot To Figure Out” gives us a needed break for about a minute until the horns and strings kick back in, making great use of the choir as well.
“The End Game” sure sounds like an end game, with the music firing through its normal set until everything stops and a morbid string melody takes over which is taken over by more action. “Get That Arm/I Feel You” starts with a eerie mix of ambient noise and strings before changing to dread and then the morbid string melody returns. I don’t want to assume what happens but my guesses are someone died or Thanos blew up half the United States. It’s among the darkest tracks in the score. “What Did It Cost?” sees the dark music keep its hold, moving to an almost post-apocalyptic sound.
A sorrow-filled “Porch” follows in the morbid tone. “Infinity War” sounds more shell-shocked than anything, ending with a piano rendition of the Avengers theme. “Old Tech” gives us one last gasp of impending doom before a requiem-like “End Credits” brings the score to a close.
If you haven’t already noticed, Avengers: Infinity War contains a lot of action. That isn’t a bad thing, far from it. It can be a bad thing if not handled by the right composer. There are only about three other living composers who can write action music like Silvestri does here. You don’t get bored and it keeps you engaged. And when he switches to the dark and sorrowful material it’s just as well executed. It may not contain many definitive themes but Infinity War is still a terrific achievement.
Our rating for the soundtrack is 4.5/5.