Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Viking: Battle For Asgard
Music by Richard Beddow, Walter Mair, Simon Ravn
Sumthing Else SE-2046-2 (US)
29 Tracks 52:10 mins

The Sumthing Else label continues to champion contemporay music for video games, this time releasing the score from a composing team new to me for Sega's Viking: Battle For Asgard.
Composers Beddow, Mair and Ravin's music is largely interpreted by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, under the baton of conductor and orchestrator Nic Raine, but samples are utilised as well, though you'd hardly know it. Some of the tracks are co-composed, while others were assigned to one or other of the composers, and the album's insert gives individual credits for each track.
There is plenty of rousing music on offer here, with powerful orchestral/choral action writing for the likes of "Prologue;" "The Battle For Darkwater;" "The Ambush in Sutherine;" "The Battle For Holdenfort;" "The Battle For Caldberg;" "The Extradition of Hel;" "The Ambush in Wassailton;" The Battle For Thornvik;" "Hel's Fortress Battle;"and "Skarin and Hel's Final Battle."
Balancing out all the fury in the score are more noble and elegiac tracks like "The Soul of Midgard;" and "The Fall of Drakan;" as well as plenty of dark, suspenseful and threatening fare like "Bruthwaite & Slaterdale Mines Parts I & II;" "The Monastery At Kirkja Parts I & II; "Enemy Territory Parts I & II," with its early percussive menace; "Flatturgrunnur Caverns Parts I & II;" "Njordfell Mines;" "Nordor-Holm Caves;" and "The Fire Caves;"
"The Town of Holdenfort" and "The Town of Thornvik" provide brief interludes of sunlight amongst all the darkness and conflict.
The initially solemn, but ultimately hopeful "A New Beginning" leads into the final track on the album, "Choir of Valkyries," with its soaring choral ending bringing the score to a satisfying close.
Once more I find myself saying that really some of the music being composed for games these days is often the equal or better of much that is being written for film. If you like epic orchestral/choral scores, in the same vein as Conan The Barbarian and the LOTR Trilogy, pick up a copy of this disc - you won't be disappointed.


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