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

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Halo Legends
Music by Various Composers
Sumthing Else SE-2076-2 (US)
30 Tracks 57:13 mins

Something of a departure for the premier game music label is their release of the soundtrack for the eight-episode Halo Legends anime series, which comes out on Warner Home Video on 16th February; although it is of course only natural that they should release the music, having put out the scores for the Halo game series. Those of you familiar with this music will recognise themes previously featured in the games, composed by Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori, although they are here arranged for orchestra and choir by no less than seven different composer/arrangers, including familiar names from the game music industry like Tilman Sillescu and Alex Pfeffer. In addition to this, Resident Evil: Degeneration composer Tetsuya Takahashi has come up with four original compositions; Genji: Dawn of the Samurai composer Yasuharu Takanashi another four; and Naoyuki Hiroko one more.
The album opens with the first of several spiritual chorals, "Ghosts of Reach," before going into heroic marching mode for "Brothers in Arms." The longest track on the disc, "Truth and Reconciliation," follows, opening with brass fanfares and continuing nobly before transforming into the familiar, propulsive theme Halo theme, which also features throughout track 6.
I must confess that the spiritual stuff leaves me a little cold and I much prefer the more action orientated tracks that follow, like "Desperate Measure;" "Cairo Suite 1," with its almost regal centrepiece; "Machines and Might;" "Sacred Icon Suite 2;" and "Rescue Mission."
Other notable tracks include the serene beauty of "Unforgotten" and, initially, "Charity Suite 2," though the latter transforms into an heroic march at its conclusion; with "The Last Spartan" having a similar movement at its core; whilst "Earth City" is suitably buoyant and impressive. "Finale 2" closes the disc in fine style.
Takanashi's contributions offer a recognisably far eastern quality, all of them possessing a delicate beauty; whilst Takahashi's tracks are unfortunately at odds with the rest of the score, being more synthetic in nature and, as a result, quite jarring and out of place.
The Halo Legends soundtrack is available both on CD and as a digital download from and iTunes.