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

Thursday, March 05, 2009


Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway
Music by Ed Lima and Duncan Watt
Sumthing Else SE-2043-2 (US)
10 Tracks 22:47 mins

This latest in the Brothers in Arms series of video games features music by Ed Lima and Duncan Watt, two names that are unfamiliar to me, performed by the FILMharmonic Orchestra and Choir Prague, under the baton of Adam Klemens.
When you first give the disc a spin, you may well feel short-changed at the brief running time, but there is a good reason for this and that is that, unlike many war games, the Brothers in Arms series does not set out to glorify combat, but instead to pay due respect and honour to the men who laid their lives on the lines to defeat the forces who sought to enslave us in World War II. Consequently, the battles are largely unscored, the music focusing on the relationships between the men, which, though they have their high points, of course often ended in tragedy.
The album commences with the noble and heroic "Main Theme," which is as good as any similarly styled piece that features in any number of war films and games. This is followed by a reprise of the theme in "The Story So Far," initially on solo piano, but quickly taken up by orchestra and choir again, giving way to a brief chorus of heavenly voices, before the military feel resumes; the track ending poignantly with piano returning. "Baker's Dozen" introduces us to lead character Matt Baker and his comrades, initially tentatively, then in flowing, heroic mode. "Double Time" is, as one would expect, an uptempo cue, with variations on the main theme, and is followed by "The First Bad news/Letters to Loved Ones," which is an appropriately largely tragic affair. "For Matthew" opens peacefully, with solo piano and heavenly choir giving a serene feel to the music, but gradually a feeling of menace sneaks in to close the track. A warm and noble version of the main theme opens "We Happy Fewer," but is interrupted by a menacing passage for timpani, before resuming. "Eindhoven/Roadblocks/Frankie's Choice" opens with a march for military band, which fades away; the track concluding with a suspenseful choral.
The penultimate track, "Those We Lost" opens forcefully, but gradually fades away, leading to "Farewell is Goodbye," the lengthiest track on the album, which opens reverently, before solo piano softly re-introduces the main theme, only to be interrupted by an eerie choral, which builds to a crescendo before the theme returns in full orchestral/choral fashion to close.
In conclusion, this is a fine military-styled score, which more than makes up for its brief running time.
The album's foldout booklet features full music credits, as well as the composers' notes on their score. Go to for more info on the label's releases, and/or to download the score.


Post a Comment

<< Home