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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

CD REVIEW - God of War II

God of War II
Music by Gerard K. Marino, Mike Reagan, Cris Velasco & Ron Fish
Sony System SYS 1128 (US)
27 Tracks 66:52 mins

After the good reception to the score for the original God of War videogame, a larger budget was made available to the scoring team, most of whom returned, for this second foray into epic Greek myths. The composers were therefore able to add live players to their synths and samples, including brass players, experienced in scoring for many big screen films, recorded at London's famed Abbey Road Studios, as well as the city's Angel Studios; and the Czech Film Orchestra String Players and Choir, recorded in Prague. The result, which I'm glad to say is available on CD this time, is a stirring mix of orchestral/choral music, with some powerful singing in Greek,
Obviously, I am referring to the many propulsive action cues, which start with the "Main Titles" and consist of the greater part of the album. Most of these are composed by Marino (who wrote the main theme - a new one for this game), Reagan and Velasco; with Fish being saddled with the less showy, atmospheric cues, most of which come as an anti-climax after the splendid action music on show.
But really the only black mark against the album is the inclusion of three bonus tracks (though thankfully, these are at the end of the disc) all modern rock and rap efforts, totally at odds with what has gone before, even if the first is a remix of material from the GofWII score.
The score for God of War II is as good if not better than most film scores being written today and is highly recommended if you like music that really stirs the blood.


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