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Epic Battle Tunes: Halo Wars 2 Original Game Soundtrack (Review)

Epic Battle Tunes: Halo Wars 2 Original Game Soundtrack (Review)

March 31, 2017 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook Epic Battle Tunes: Halo Wars 2 Original Game Soundtrack (Review)on Twitter

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The Halo Wars 2 Original Game Soundtrack boasts 38 tracks of glorious orchestral music performed by the Hollywood Studio Symphony.  The music was composed by the trio of composers Gordy Haab, Brian Trifon, and Brian Lee White. Additional music for the game was composed by Samuel Smythe, and Jay Wiltzen.

I’ve taken some time to listen to the soundtrack over the past week which has been both an engaging and rewarding experience. Read on for my impressions of the album, and my favorite tracks.

The opening track of the soundtrack “Recommissioned” opens with strings backed by chorals with slight nods to the original Halo theme leading into triumphant brass and rapid percussion with a solid orchestral sound. The soundtrack digitally is divided into two disks, with the 21 tracks on part 1, and the remaining 17 tracks on part 2 which is the same at the CD version. The album features two full hours of music.

Although I haven’t played the game, Track 5 “Amethyst” is one of my favorite tracks from the first half of the album as it features a powerful dominant sound in the form of a menacing blare which gave me a sense that something was attacking.

“Run Little Demons”, track 9 is another standout track on the album. About 28 seconds in it presents in a slightly different tone what could easily be mistaken for John Williams’ Jaws theme which does come back in a subtle way later instead played by the percussion. I loved it. The music brought images to my mind of a giant stomping around with each bombastic step bringing moments of awe coupled with horror wrought at the destruction.

“It’s Done” which follows immediately afterward features a victorious heroic or sacrificial brass melody accompanied by supportive strings which later morphs into a progressive tone that gives the listener that some of plan is underway or has been realized.

Another of my favorite tracks from part 1 was “Heads Up Display” at it opens with gorgeous sombre stringed arrangement of the Halo theme. It then continues to progress as an emotional piece that gives the listener the sense that they’re paying respect to something. It also gave me the sense that it would also play while examining the aftermath or a grand battle.

The second disc of Halo Wars 2 starts off strong with “Cratered” opens and closed with lovely soft sustained piano notes with great use of cello and light percussion in between. Track 2 “Scorched Earth” utilizes what sounds to me like distorted cello with a pace setting ticking percussion with a lot of echoing melodies that reminded me at times of music from the Transformers films. This is further expanded upon with more emphasis on the percussion in next track “Simulcara”.

The remaining tracks on the album offer a sustained listening experience. Additional standout tracks for me were “Fog of War” and “Last Stand”. I will say at times when listening to the score in the background while writing was difficult because I would often lose focus on the writing and get lost in the music, and that’s always a great sign.

For my review of the soundtrack I was provided with a 320kbps MP3 copy which offered a quality listening experience. Throughout my repeated listens I had visions of ground and space battles, some really tense moments, and beautiful music that triggered emotions that drew me to self reflect. Of the many Halo soundtracks I own on CD, Halo Wars 2 is one I will be seeking out to add to my collection. The music composed for the game is worthy of the Halo name and one of the series best.

You can sample and purchase the digital album on Sumthing’s website for $11.99 or you can order the CD version from Amazon for $11.49.

Have you played Halo Wars 2? What did you think of the music in the game?

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