Featuring Original Music By Michael Yezerski

Lakeshore Records will release the ONLY THE DEAD SEE THE END OF WAR  – Original Documentary Soundtrack digitally on April 15th, 2016.  The album features the film’s original score by Michael Yezerski (THE DEVIL’S CANDY, DRIFT).

“The only comment that the score really makes is to point to the profound tragedy of war and its consequences,” said Yezerski.

HBO Documentary Films ONLY THE DEAD SEE THE END OF WAR is war correspondent Michael Ware’s searing account of witnessing the birth of ISIS, and one of the most shocking war documentaries to come out of Iraq.  Ware arrived in Baghdad in 2003 as a novice reporter on a three-week assignment to cover the invasion of Iraq. He left seven years later, having gained unprecedented access to the Iraqi insurgency and American troops, as well as a myriad of demons – the after-effects of witnessing seemingly endless, horrific violence.

Examining the Iraq War and its moral consequences through the story of the rise and fall of jihadi terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the founder of Al Qaeda in Iraq and the progenitor of ISIS, ONLY THE DEAD SEE THE END OF WAR is a harrowing and graphic account from both sides of the war zone, as well as an illuminating window into the origins of a modern terrorist organization. Directed by two-time Oscar® winner Bill Guttentag in collaboration with Michael Ware, the documentary debuted just days after the 13th anniversary of the Iraq invasion on HBO.  ONLY THE DEAD SEE THE END OF WAR is told through visceral hand-held video footage culled from hundreds of hours that journalist Michael Ware shot while reporting over the course of the war. This unique, on-the-ground view is combined with eye-opening narration for a frank, unsparing look at the Iraq War unlike any before.

“We realized very early on that the music had to tread carefully,” Yezerski explained. “We never wanted to portray a sense of triumphalism or (worse) colonialism so a ‘big cinema’ sound was abandoned very early. I worked closely with music supervisor Andrew Kotatko and editor Jane Moran to craft a palette that supported the story without commenting too much.”
To achieve this, Yezerski used strings at the heart of the score, interspersed here and there with lower brass, percussion and electronics.  He described, “There are echoes of an Oud but it’s not actually an Oud. All the things that sound like Middle Eastern instruments are actually electronics. I used the Arabic mode ‘Rast’ a little but not overtly. The lower strings often provide a pedal over which I’ve laid slow, rich melodies. I wanted to create a sense that the music is coming from the depths of the planet – an earth cry if you like.”
Hailing from Australia, Michael Yezerski has worked with many of the country’s finest directors including Claire McCarthy, Elissa Down, Shaun Tan (Oscar® Winner), Justin McMillan, Chris Nelius and PJ Hogan. He has written the scores for over fourteen feature films and has been nominated four times for the country’s highest film honor – the AACTA award for Best Original Score. He has won numerous industry and guild prizes.

Notable films include, The Devil’s Candy, The Black Balloon, The Lost Thing (Winner Oscar® Best Animated Short), The Waiting City and Mental. Michael wrote additional music for Transformers: Age of Extinction under renowned composer Steve Jablonsky.  Michael’s scores feature on some of Australia’s most acclaimed television productions including A Place To Call Home, Wanted, Peter Allen: Not The Boy Next Door. Catching Milat and Carlotta.

“The main theme is the melody heard in full in the final track ‘Only The Dead See The End of War’,” Yezerski explained. “We hear it in pieces before that, most notably in ‘The Dark Idea of Him’, but it’s not fully realized until the end. That final track is a requiem, a chorale for strings – an ‘In Memoriam’. The other theme is the ‘Dark Places’ theme which is also interspersed throughout. It is an exploration of the Rast mode and a meditation on dark progress with pulsing pizzicato strings carrying this theme.”

HBO Documentary Films presents ONLY THE DEAD SEE THE END OF WAR which debuted on HBO on March 28th. The documentary will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO and HBO On Demand.  Lakeshore Records will release the ONLY THE DEAD SEE THE END OF WAR  – Original Documentary Soundtrack digitally on April 15 and on CD shortly thereafter.


1. Dark Places
2. Rast
3. Night Vision
4. Omar
5. Escalation
6. Losing Control
7. Haifa St
8. The Dark Idea of Him
9. Daring To Make A Stand
10. Fallujah’s That Way Y’all
11. Ground Assault
12. Dead F**kers (feat. James Shuar)
13. The Ostrali
14. Gov Center
15. Coming In
16. Nothing Is What It Seems
17. Ramadi
18. Warning Shots
19. Dark Chambers of the Heart
20. Only The Dead See the End of War