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Monday, May 22, 2006

CD REVIEW - Halo 2 Original Soundtrack Volume Two

Halo 2 Original Soundtrack Volume Two
Music by Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori
Sumthing Else SE-2018-2 (U.S.)
12 Tracks 70:04 mins

The first Halo 2 soundtrack came out some time back, before the game score was actually finished, and featured themes that were already composed, plus "inspired by" numbers from bands that were to feature in the game. This second volume features the actual score, "rearranged for maximum listening pleasure." Sad to say, despite this approach, there just isn't much pleasure to be had from this CD at all.
The composers utilise orchestra, electronics, choir and a touch of electric guitar, but the whole thing is downbeat and pretty uninspiring throughout, with very little action writing to get the pulse racing and not much in the way of melody to latch on to. The best of the former are "Unyielding" and its later variation "Reclaimer," with its wailing electric guitar; and also "Leonadis" which is a fair rhythmic mover. As for melody, only the piano-lead "Unforgotten" comes to mind. There a couple of beat-driven tracks that get the foot tapping briefly and "Wage" is worth mentioning for its repeating martial drums, quite effectively joined by orchestra and choir, but overall I suspect this very lengthy CD will only appeal to those of you who have played the game or like their scores on the atmospheric side.


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