Posted on October 16, 2012 AT 06:35pm
The Halo series has featured some of the most iconic musical scores to be included in a video game in recent years. With Halo 4 being the first game of the series to be scored by someone other than Martin O’Donnell, composer Neil Davidge has big shoes to fill. With the release of the Halo 4 Original Soundtrack and Remix albums, Davidge has forged new ground 4 the Halo series while paying homage to classic themes that Halo fans everywhere know and love.
The first track which is entitled “Awakening”, with it’s tense strings and subtle electronic undertones, introduces the new soundscape for the Halo series. Tracks such as “Immaterial” and “Legacy” use ethereal vocals, ambient noise, and tense strings to convey the a sense of discovery and dread. Tracks such as “117″ and “Belly of the Beast” feature themes that are comfortingly familiar to Halo fans. The mellow strings of “Green and Blue” hint at the deepening connection that the Master Chief and Cortana will have over the course of the Reclaimer Trilogy. “To Galaxy” with it’s combination of full orchestra and electronic sequences seems especially poised to be a new classic when Halo 4 launches later this year.
The Halo 4 Original soundtrack remixes are interesting but not entirely fitting for the Halo series. The “Nemesis” remix by Alvin Risk is heavily influenced by Dubstep and would fit more within the Portal universe than Halo. The same could be said for the “Arrival” remix by Norin and Rad and the “Ascendacy” remix by Matt Lange. The “To Galaxy” remix by Sander van Horn and Julian Jordan. One especially interesting track is “The Beauty of Cortana” which features Apocalyptica and Neil Davidge. The strong string presence and heavily distorted guitar would fit comfortably in the climax of nearly any Halo game. My favorite tracks were “Awakening” by Gui Boratto and “Green and Blue” by KOAN sound which added a stronger electronic presence but did not stray far from the original tracks.
Overall the Halo 4 original soundtrack and remixes are a fun and enjoyable collection of songs. Some tracks from the remix album do not seem to fit within the Halo universe, but fans who appreciate electronic music will find a lot to enjoy.
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