Imagine Dragons is no stranger to lending their talent to franchise soundtracks such as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Iron Man 3, and having their massive hit “Radioactive” as the theme song for The Host. Well, they’ve got another epic soundtrack addition in the form of “Battle Cry” and it’s definitely the best song to be on a Transformers soundtrack ever (sorry, Linkin Park fans).
The stars of Transformers: Age of Extinction are the Dinobots so of course the music consists of haunting pianos and ghost-like ‘oooooohs’ before the first lines “Just one more time before I go/I’ll let you know/that all this time I’ve been afraid/wouldn’t let it show” are uttered. Those lines set up what turns into a musical battle of soft instrumentation (which now includes elegant strings) against hard drumming and guitars for the first chorus. The change in music absolutely embodies how the background music to a war between the regal, civilized Autobots and the animalistic, out-of-control Dinobots would sound like, because the latter are the ones wreaking havoc on the humans.
Ironically, the vocals are similar to those of Muse in a way and the music is Linkin Park-esque. However, “Battle Cry” is very much Imagine Dragons’ style in terms of the lyrics. The chorus is very much a quote-unquote battle cry with lines like “Nobody can save you now/the king is down/it’s do or die/nobody can save you now/nowhere safe” being sung with the perfect amount of untapped screaming that feels not forced but beautiful. With more than half the song making you want to headbang your brains out, it slows back down to its original strings, pianos and chanting at the very end for a repetition of its first round of verses. The final “Nobody can save me now, no/nobody can save me now” leaves the listener to wonder how the fight ended. In fact, it makes you feel like you’re listening to a flashback through the eyes (ears?) of a fallen autobot.
If there ever was a band that could make a living off of having freakin awesome soundtrack music, it would hands down be Imagine Dragons. “Battle Cry” perfectly embodies what the Transformers series should be: giant robots fighting each other for ultimate power. The song alone makes me want to see the upcoming movie and that is the sure sign of a track that is worthy of even Optimus Prime’s approval.