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Sea Dogs, Cat Pirates: Age of Pirates Caribbean Tales Original Game Soundtrack (Review)

Sea Dogs, Cat Pirates: Age of Pirates Caribbean Tales Original Game Soundtrack (Review)

January 1, 2009 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook Sea Dogs, Cat Pirates: Age of Pirates Caribbean Tales Original Game Soundtrack (Review)on Twitter

Is your cat a pirate? Do you have to dig for buried treasure? If so, you may have seen this awesome “Lift and Sift” litter box infomercial tons of years ago. I know this has nothing to do with Age of Pirates, which is a follow-up to the amazingly scored Sea Dogs which we reviewed some months back, but it’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think about pirates.

Russia’s own Yury Poteyenko returns for Age of Pirates, but this time with a bigger sound and almost double the quantity of music that was featured in Sea Dogs. I don’t know if this is necessarily a good thing, as I liked the minimalistic atmosphere generated by Sea Dogs, but perhaps I should tell you more about the music before you draw any conclusions.

Hit the jump for our review of Age of Pirates Caribbean Tales Original Game Soundtrack.

You may recall that I was quite content with the mellow music of Sea Dogs. It featured a single battle track, leaving the rest of the score open to sweeping melodies and soothing atmospheres that actually caught me by surprise. Since Age of Pirates is a bit lengthier, there is a lot more room for the bombastic orchestral pieces that aren’t as memorable, but there’s still a lot of beautiful music here to admire.

“Hymn of Corsairs (Main Theme)” contains a powerful rendition of a familiar theme from Sea Dogs, and the full sound of the Moscow Symphony Orchestra and the Kastalsky-Kapella Choir lend the album a distinct quality right from the start. Moving along, “Morning Breeze” is a subdued piece with its frequent pauses and string swells. It slowly builds up with orchestral percussion and brass to a more regal tone, but retains the beautiful melody that is highlighted even further when the choir joins in.

Unfortunately there is a patch of songs on the album that I found myself skipping over on repeated listens. The battle themes and a long village tune are well recorded and sound fine enough, but there wasn’t a whole lot here that had me wanting to come back for more. Fortunately, this dry patch gives way to some of the best songs on the album.

“Quiet Bay” begins with a contemplative woodwind melody with a light string backing. Later, as things get moving, pizzicato strings plod along quietly in the background while the strings and woodwinds harmonize with one another to voice a soothing melody. I can’t help but compare Poteyenko’s beautiful melodies to those of Jeremy Soule on his Morrowind and Oblivion scores, and I definitely mean this as a compliment. This track is immediately followed by “Moon Way,” which is another favorite of mine. It is even more minimalistic than “Quiet Bay,” starting with a lone violin before a sparse harp progression joins in the moonlit dance over the water. It’s simple yet sophisticated, and never becomes stale despite being over 5 minutes long.

On to the best track on the album, which is titled “Sunrise.” The melody is immediately memorable, and has literally been in my head for weeks. It sounds like one of those pieces of music that would accompany your first waking moments of the day, which sounds rather cliché given the track title. It is absolutely true though, and the layers of strings and woodwinds create a warm and inviting atmosphere that sticks with you. The main theme even makes a brief entrance before the choir joins the strings and woodwinds from earlier for one last hurrah.

Am I being unfair in my assessment of the other music here? Maybe just slightly, and who knows, maybe you’ll love the stuff that I find myself skipping on this album, but after the amazing experience of Sea Dogs, I was hoping for more of the same. You definitely can’t go wrong with the $7.99 price tag, courtesy of KeepMoving Records once again. The fact of the matter is that there are a number of amazing tracks here that are well worth the price of the entire album on their own, so I recommend checking it out.

Did you play Sea Dogs or Age of Pirates Caribbean Tales? Did you enjoy Yury Poteyenko’s scores for either title whether you played the games or not?

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