Step aside, Norman, there’s a new Bates in horror: composer Tyler Bates, who drew attention last year with inspired slasher flick The Devil’s Rejects, directed by Rob Zombie. Bates has also written music for Roger Corman productions (Alien Avengers), classic-pulp remakes (Get Carter) and romantic comedies (Miss Congeniality 2), but it’s especially in horror films where his sonic sculptures shine, which may explain why his upcoming work includes Slither, See No Evil and Stay Alive, as well as the next adaptation of a Frank Miller comic book, 300.
Bates doesn’t restrict himself to Bernard Hermann’s pulse-quickening strings, as much of his music is infused with industrial flourishes. Just check out the better cues he’s posted for free download on his website, tylerbates.com, notably “Staples” (MP3) from Devil’s Rejects, an exercise in orchestrated noise if there ever was one, and “I Had a Breakdown” (MP3), from The Dead Will Tell, in which piano emerges from the cinematic haze. Bates’ site rotates its free downloads. Previous key entries included Devil’s Rejects‘ “Another Failed Escape,” a two-minute suite of tremor-inducing effects; Night at the Golden Eagle‘s “Closet Voyeur,” a moody set piece with angelic vocals; “Gabriel” (also from Golden Eagle), another slice of vampiric background music; and Wasted‘s “Back on Junk,” scored for backwoods guitar and oracular synthesizer. Also featured on the site are tracks from two of Bates’ rock projects, Pet and Roseland. They’re fairly standard songs, though at least one, Pet’s “360,” has an effects-rich intro with touches recognizable from his soundtrack work.