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Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Halo Wars
Music by Stephen Rippy
Sumthing Else SE-2052-2 (US)
25 Tracks 53:56 mins + Bonus DVD

For the latest in the Halo series of video games, Stephen Rippy, best known for his work on the Age of Empires series of games, has provided the score, with performances by the FILMharmonic Orchestra and Choir Prague.
The album opens with the impressive "Spirit of Fire," its piano intro giving way to a fine orchestral/choral treatment. Choir continues to dominate the subsequent "Bad Here Day," which flows easily along, though unfortunately loses its way somewhat. Other laid-back numbers include "Money or Meteors;" "Flip and Sizzle;" and "Action Figure Hands;" with ambient offerings including "Flollo," "Six-Armed Robbing Suit;" and "Best Guess at Best;" whilst more kick-ass and dramatic stuff is provided by the likes of "Just Ad Nauseum;" "Status Quo Show;" "Freaked Out;" "Rescued or Not;" "One Problem at a Time;" "De Facto the Matter;" and "Through Your Hoops;" the composer himself providing the electric guitar work where required. Along the way there are some weighty moments, but these are few and far between.
The disc closes on with "Insignificantia" which, is largely easy-going, though choir does add some weight in the midst of things. Of course, the familiar Halo theme, by Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori, is present in the score, and track 24, "Under Your Hurdles," is composed by Kevin McMullen.
What I would say is for a game with "Wars" in its title, the score is very light on action music, which is disappointing, but then this is isn't unusual in the music for the series thus far.
Included with the regular CD is a bonus DVD, featuring nine additional tracks, of which I would pick out the more action-orientated "X-06," "Quite the Vacation Resort" and "We're Burning Sunshine;" together with the poignant "Five Long Years." There are also another nine 5.1 mixes of tracks from the music disc, two cinematic trailers and a teaser trailer.
As usual, the CD is available in stores, or you can download the album at


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