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Wednesday, December 01, 2010


Assassin's Creed Brotherhood
Music by Jesper Kyd
20 Tracks 63:11 mins

The latest game in the Assassins Creed series is set during the occupation of Rome by The Borgias in 1503 and is again scored by BAFTA award-winning composer Jesper Kyd, who utilises Renaissance period instrumentation alongside He says of the project: "Researching the history of the Borgia Family it became clear early on that Assassin's Creed Brotherhood would require a very dark score in order to match the Borgias' aspirations to become the rulers of Italy."
I am working from a copy of the album the composer's publicists, Top Dollar PR, kindly sent me, which has 20 tracks, but I gather the commercial download, available from the likes of iTunes and, has 21.
The first track on my copy is "Master Assassin," a powerful, ethnic styled, percussive piece with ethnic female voice thrown into the mix. This is followed by the impressive majesty of "City of Rome," which moves steadily to the same ethnic sound, enhanced by choir and various instrumental/vocal soloists. A savage male voice choir introduces "Cesare Borgia," whilst "Flags of Rome" becomes increasingly percussive, while female voice soars over. "The Brotherhood Escapes" offers hi-octane action for choir and percussion, with the initially brooding "Brotherhood of the Assassins" gradually gaining impetus, before fading away. "The Pantheon" opens expectantly, but percussion then drives it forward. The male choir return for "Villa Under Attack," effectively mixing with percussion to provide a powerful moment in the score. After this, there's time for reflection in "Echos of the Roman Ruins," with its mournful female vocal, before the pulsing "Borgia Tower" and "Borgia Occupation," with its echoing voices and pounding drums, which build in power, joined by chanting male choir.
"Roman Underworld" is dark and desolate, giving way to "Countdown," which ticks along, building in intensity as it goes. "Borgia - the Rulers of Rome" is a pretty desolate affair, with female voices; the propulsive "Ezo Confronts Lucrezia" following, with the propulsion continuing into "Battle in Spain," where male voices join to provide another powerful moment. "Fight of the Assassins" offers percussive conflict, giving way to "Desmond Miles," with mournful electric cello or violin, backed by shimmering electronics.
The penultimate track, "VR Room" is an ethereal affair, with "Apple Chamber" continuing the shift to a more electronic sound, as it closes the album in somewhat minimalistic fashion with its rippling keyboards and synth pulsings.
A hit and miss affair then, rather like Kyd's previous scores for the series; at its best when the percussion and voices drive the score forward, and also in the haunting use of ethnic female vocals, but the increasing shift towards electronics provide a disappointing close to the album.


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