Game Music, Indie Music, Reviews


August 14, 2018 | | 1 Comment Share thison Facebook BATTLETECH ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK (REVIEW)on Twitter


The soundtrack to Battletech was released on April 24, 2018, coinciding with the release of the game developed by Harebrained Schemes. The music was composed by Jon Everist, who supplied OSV with a review copy of the soundtrack. We interviewed the composer about his past work, and Battletech last year, and recently reviewed his two most recent LP releases of his soundtracks to Shadowrun: Dragonfall and Shadowrun: Hong Kong.

The score for the game is massive and boasts 60 tracks with a runtime of over three hours. For the review I will just be focussing on some of the 48 tracks that make up the main soundtrack. The album on bandcamp also includes a dozen B-Sides tracks. I have been anticipating this soundtrack for quite some time, read on for my full review.

I have had a review copy of the Battletech soundtrack since April 24, 2018 and have been listening to it on a daily basis since then. I have listened to it from the beginning to end, and on shuffle play. We’re now into August and I’m still not tired of it yet. I have not played the game, so all of my thoughts are solely on the music as a listening experience.

My favorite listening method for the album always starts with the opening track “For All Mankind” which also accompanies the opening cinematic for the game which you can watch above. Brief electronic sounds open the track which leads to a choir that is met with some Eastern instrumentation and later the sound of the Orchestra. All of these elements come together just as the track finishes but really gives you an idea what’s to come.

YouTube user Papito Qinn has shared a video of the Battletech start menu screen, which features the second track on the album “Restoration (Start Menu)”. This is another fine example of how the musical elements build throughout the track and come together. At 1:37 there’s a moment where the orchestra and Erika Kadi’s cello really resonates, which is just beautiful.

“Past is Prologue” features echoing deep vocals by Emily Ridgeway which brought out feelings in me of history and reminded me of the vocals from some of my personal favorite game soundtracks, Jack Wall’s Myst scores.

If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, you’ll feel right at home listening to “Ochre Wall”. The dramatic piece features some epic string work, percussion, and a progressive tune that would totally work if overlayed during a GoT battle.

As Jon Everist was working on the Batteltech soundtrack he released a series of videos that took viewers behind the scenes of the creation of the soundtrack. The music featured in the third video of that series features the music from “Wolf At The Door”. It since has become my favorite track on the album as it starts slowly with stringed orchestra, features initially a lovely cello solo with a hummable melody, and at 1:12 electronic sound and percussion kick in. I simply cannot get enough of it.

Where the Battletech soundtrack really stands out for me is how the electronic, and orchestral elements blend and work so well together. “March of Axylus” is the perfect example. I’ve listened to this track several times when I’ve been out walking in the city. If you listen to one track in this review, take the time to listen to this one the whole way through. All I know about Battletech is that it’s a game about war with giant mechs. I’ve seen a ton of anime series about mechs and I am a big fan of the Macross series. For me the human element of these series are what stands out, it’s all about the people or players operating these mechs. This track begins with sombre emotional notes and I felt heard a sense of hesitation. That leads into a militaristic march that gets even heavier with the composers use of electronic sound. Walking around listening to this track, I can feel myself marching in a mech. Although I have never played Battletech, this track made me feel like a part of it.

There is so much more to the Battletech soundtrack. Pauses are put to excellent use, and the pieces featuring solo vocal or cello performances are masterful. Part of the reason it took me so long to write a review was figuring out which pieces to talk about. If you have enjoyed the music of the Halo series, Game of Thrones, or luscious orchestral scores you will love the music of Battletech.

You can grab yourself a copy of the soundtrack directly from Jon Everist’s bandcamp page for $8.99. Or you can hang on a bit longer as there is a vinyl release in the works, which will be a selection of the game’s tracks spread across 3 LPs. The LP release will also come with a download code for the full soundtrack. If you’d like to see a specific track on the album let the composer know via Twitter, as he’s currently in the process of selecting tracks. Stay tuned to OSV for more news on this vinyl release.

Have you played Battletech or listened to the soundtrack since its release? What’s your favorite track?

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