Artist:  Various
Title:   "End of the Spear" (soundtrack)
Label:  Word Records

Coupled with the charge to reach the world with the Gospel message, the disciples were also offered an admonition that it wouldn't be an easy task. In fact, they were warned that many of them would be killed for their efforts, some in a similarly brutal fashion as Jesus, the Gospel embodied, was crucified. Despite this foreknowledge, the disciples plunged forward on their mission to share the good news with the world around them, counting that message as more important to preserve than their very lives. Centuries later, missionaries still risk their lives to share the Gospel with those who haven't yet heard, regardless of the potential dangers involved.

One such example of this sacrifice took place in Ecuador fifty years ago when a group of missionaries dared to make contact with the most violent culture known to man, the Waodoni Tribe. After five men initiated this contact, they were brutally killed by the tribe. Rather than turning away, however, the families of these men continued to reach out to the tribe, eventually teaching them the Gospel and ending their violent nature of life. This powerful story comes to life this year as the film "End of the Spear" hits theaters around the world.

Naturally, the bulk of the album consists of a score composed by Ronald Owen, who is somewhat of a newcomer to the scene. The score directs the listener's emotions with a strong and steady hand, mimicking the pace and theme of the movie. This guidance is technically a good thing for a CD, but perhaps it's a little over the top and manipulative for a soundtrack. Another downside is that the songs feel typically tribal in nature, meaning that they seem to rehash past works to create the expected, almost cliché sounds of a jungle tribe. However it may influence viewers in the theater, apart from the film, the score stirs up the appropriate emotional responses in the listener. Also woven into the album are a handful of songs from popular artists, BarlowGirl, Steven Curtis Chapman, Nicole C. Mullen, and Mark Schultz, that manage to underscore the tone and theme of the movie and offer a break from the intensity of the soundtrack.

Overall, the "End of the Spear" soundtrack proves to be an emotional listen that leaves the listener feeling as if they experienced the story themselves. While a bit heavy-handed for the movie itself, the score is strong and worth listening to separately. The five non-score songs are a nice touch, adding to the overall effect of the album. Perhaps we should expect more in the future from Ronald Owen as he hones his craft of scoring films.


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