Moon Knight – Hesham Nazih

In recent years, we have seen a rise of well-produced television shows based on intellectual property owned by the respective streaming platforms. The best known examples of these are the Marvel and Star Wars shows on Disney+. What I love about these shows is that they keep adding more amazing stories to the rich fantasy worlds I like, but those shows are also an opportunity for lesser-known composers to get into the spotlight. One of the recent examples is Natalie Holt, who wrote the refreshing and incredible score for Loki. Luckily, she is not the only one, because I was also pleasantly surprised by the music for the latest Marvel show Moon Knight, written by Egyptian composer Hesham Nazih. I didn’t know Nazih before, which is not surprising, since, even though he has been composing for many years, he has mainly written music for Arabic media. These musical influences fit the superhero Moon Knight who is based on Egyptian Gods. 

To give you an idea of what kind of music Nazih has written for the show, the first track “Moon Knight” is the best example. It contains the main theme for the hero Moon Knight and it is a superb cue. It is a massive-sounding orchestral piece, with bold brass statements and containing an aggressive sounding choir. It makes the theme heroic, dark and mysterious. Wonderful violin melody lines make the theme even somewhat elegant for a while in the middle of the piece, before the boldness returns. The antagonist of Moon Knight is a combination of a man called Arthur Harrow and the goddess Ammit, and they have their own theme as well. It is more of a pattern of a handful of notes than a full melody. You can hear it for the first time in “The Village” at the one-minute mark, performed on some kind of bells before the orchestra and choir join in. 

These two themes are the foundation for the majority of the music, which is brilliantly written to support the story. The score is full of massive sounds by orchestra and choir, perfect for a dark hero who is most often active during the night. In many places in the music, the themes are used in wonderfully different ways, like in “Phone and Elevator Blues,” in which you can hear the theme’s melody performed on a single Arabic instrument. Another perfect example is “Constellation,” in which you can hear the melody as an Arabic chant. What I find amazing are those Arabic influences. They give the music its own identity and make the soundtrack stand out from other Marvel movies and shows. 

Many soundtrack albums for Disney+ TV shows are released in multiple digital volumes, containing several hours of music. This is not the case for Moon Knight, which has been released as a single 90-minute album. As a result of this curated list, each track on the album is a delight to listen to. The reason for it is that each of them contains music that marvelously fits the style of the show, is never dull and has clever ways of integrating the melody of a theme into the music. The soundtrack Hesham Nazih has written for Moon Knight is a perfect example that there are brilliant film music composers to be found everywhere in the world, who are able to write magnificent scores, using their own unique styles. I will definitely explore more music by Nazih because his music for Moon Knight is superb. It is easily one of the best scores from 2022 for me.

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The highlights are in bold.

  1. Moon Knight (2:10)
  2. The Village (1:36)
  3. Village Scales (2:13)
  4. Phone and Elevator Blues (2:09)
  5. Chaos Within (3:37)
  6. Full Moon Fight (2:13)
  7. Storage Locker (2:36)
  8. What Suit? (2:48)
  9. Moonlight Fight (3:19)
  10. Fake Passport (2:33)
  11. She Is Here (4:37)
  12. The Sky (2:34)
  13. The Boat (2:05)
  14. Takes the Body (3:06)
  15. Constellation (4:16)
  16. No Suit (3:29)
  17. The Kiss (1:54)
  18. Eye of Horus (1:11)
  19. Welcome Travelers (1:42)
  20. Weight of Hearts (2:33)
  21. The Cave (2:56)
  22. All Your Fault (1:55)
  23. Open the Door (1:45)
  24. Give Her a Call (3:12)
  25. The Inevitable (5:15)
  26. Humble Disciple (4:15)
  27. Befriending Myself (3:32)
  28. Rise and Shine (2:43)
  29. We Need More (1:30)
  30. New Skillsets (6:08)
  31. I’ll Never Stop (2:36)
  32. Meet My Friend (0:37)
  33. Summon the Suit (2:17)

Total length: 1 hour and 31 minutes
Marvel Music (2022)

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