Here's some "Dark Knight Rises" hype you can actually use: Hans Zimmer's epic score for Christopher Nolan's Batman finale is streaming online, courtesy of Empire.

Zimmer, a nine-time Oscar nominee who won an Academy Award for his work on the soundtrack for "The Lion King," is Nolan's go-to composer. The pair have worked together on all three Batman films ("Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight," previously), as well as "Inception," and Zimmer is often credited with giving the modern blockbuster its sound. (Listen to Steve Jablonsky's scores in the "Transformers" series and try to imagine them existing without Zimmer's prior work.) It's no surprise, then, that his strengths are on total display in "The Dark Knight Rises." The soundtrack is familiar and full of fury -- many of the themes from "The Dark Knight" are present, though not the dissonant high-pitched whine that became the Joker's signature -- while also providing listeners with something new.

You've no doubt heard the urgent chanting used throughout the "Dark Knight Rises" soundtrack in the film's trailer, but the score's best tune might be its most unique: "Mind If I Cut In?," the fourth track on the album, uses bells and lone piano to create a mournful-yet-jaunty melody that sounds like something off the "Usual Suspects" score. Whether or not this is Catwoman's theme is unknown, but considering the track's title -- and how Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne are shown dancing together in the "Dark Knight Rises" trailer -- don't be surprised if that's the case.

"The Dark Knight Rises," starring Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard and Gary Oldman, is in theaters on July 20. The soundtrack arrives on July 16. Head over to Empire Online for a listen.

[via Empire]

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  • Anne Hathaway As Catwoman

  • Christian Bale & Anne Hathaway

  • Tom Hardy As Bane

  • Christian Bale As Batman

  • Tom Hardy as Bane

  • Marion Cotillard as Miranda Tate

  • Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox

  • Anne Hathaway

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Gary Oldman

  • Christian Bale & Michael Caine

  • The Tumbler

  • Tom Hardy & Christian Bale

  • Tom Hardy As Bane

  • Christian Bale

  • Christian Bale

  • Christian Bale

  • Anne Hathaway as Catwoman

  • Christopher Nolan

  • Christopher Nolan

  • Anne Hathaway

  • Christopher Nolan

  • Gary Oldman

  • Morgan Freeman & Christian Bale

  • Morgan Freeman

  • Anne Hathaway

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Marion Cotillard

  • Nolan, Freeman, Bale

  • Tom Hardy

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Matthew Modine

  • Tom Hardy

  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt

  • Michael Caine