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

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Ancient Wars: Sparta
Music by Dynamedion
KeepMoving Records KMRCD 013 (Russia)
27 Tracks 66:05 mins

Founded in 2001 by composers Tilman Sillescu and Pierre Langer, Dynamedion has earned the reputation of being one of the finest providers of game music there is, winning many awards along the way and, whilst much of their music is fully orchestral, some is artificially created, using synths and samples, and some a hybrid of both, as seems to be the case with Ancient Wars: Sparta. Whatever, the presence of strong thematic material remains.
Sillescue and Langer did not provide music for this particular game, but instead other members of their stable, Markus Schmidt, Alex Pfeffer and Alexander Roder got the gig.
Having been familiar with a number of Dynamedion scores, I was keen to sample this one, even though I had exhausted my generous sampling of KeepMoving's releases. I therefore thank them for giving me this opportunity to bring you another of their fine recordings.
The album commences with the powerful, choir-enhanced "Sparta;" the theme continuing expectantly into "Onward to Rome." The first action follows in "No Surrender," with choir and percussion driving things impressively onward, and there's plenty more exciting action to come in the likes of "Sharp Scimitars," "Heart of Iron," "The Gods at War," "Fight Your Fear," and "Final Action."
The bold and impressive "Egypt Goes Forth" has a suitably ethnic feel to it, which carries forward to "Fight For Hours;" the same Egyptian theme also featuring in "The Pyramids;" whilst "Golden Sphinx" keeps the ethnic percussion going, as the track builds from a mysterious opening. There's more mysterious, eastern-flavoured music at the opening of "Arabian Horde," before things build menacingly, and the same can be said of "Come to Babylon."
The music's all-conquering in "A Time to Win," and there's more of the big and bold to be found in "Rome Revisited" and "Children of Egypt;" whilst "A Time to Lose" and "New Chains" are suitably fatalistic.
"Worldwonder" is a mix of mystery and awe, as is "Wonders of the East;" whilst the penultimate track, "Dark Action," presents a big choral conclusion to events, leading to the calm, ethnic woodwind-lead, concluding track "Peace."
Those of you liking the hybrid approach to scoring most associated with Hans Zimmer's stable should enjoy this one. It may not appeal to the purists, who like their music orchestral, but it's still a strong effort.
Limited to just 500 units, you'd best hurry along to if you want to grab a copy. You can of course listen to samples before you buy - just in case you're not sure.


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