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Halo 2, Vol. 1 Import, Soundtrack

4.5 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Soundtrack, November 9, 2004
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Taking center stage on the Halo 2: Original Soundtrack CD are the new symphonic compositions by Martin O'Donnell & Michael Salvatori, the composers behind the best-selling Halo: Combat Evolved soundtrack. Nile Rodgers, the album's producer said, "Visualize a giant orchestra with Martin O'Donnell as the composer & all the artists & musicians contributing as players in the grand symphony that is called Halo." The soundtrack also includes all new compositions from some of today's most exciting rock bands, including "Blow Me Away" by Breaking Benjamin, "Connected" by Hoobastank & "The Odyssey" by Incubus; which serve to fulfill the ultimate vision of Marty O'Donnell's epic orchestral score.


Further proof that the 15-year-old male is the nexus of contemporary popular entertainment, this anthology of music from and "inspired by" the sequel to the earth-conquering Halo saga also showcases how capably the video game industry can trump even Hollywood's vaunted production values. The original synth-heavy underscore by Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori is filled with enough brooding, mock-Goth atmospherics, and pulsing exotica of indeterminate ethnicity to give the Hans Zimmer stable a run for their money, while a slate of (mostly) worthy rock star guest turns give it a welcome edge. Legendary axe-slinger Steve Vai's sinewy riffing punches up the reworked main theme and "Never Surrender," while alt.metal contenders Breaking Benjamin serve up the suitably dramatic inspired-by cut "Blow Me Away." But it's Incubus' four-part "Odyssey" suite that's the centerpiece, bridging 1970s prog and modern rock with its moody aura and evocative musical dramatics. --Jerry McCulley

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Halo Theme Mjolnir Mix
  2. Blow Me Away - Breaking Benjamin
  3. Peril
  4. Ghosts Of Reach
  5. Follow (1st Movement Of The Odyssey) - Incubus
  6. Heretic, Hero
  7. Flawed Legacy
  8. Impend
  9. Never Surrender - Nile Rodgers
  10. Ancient Machine
  11. 2nd Movement Of The Odyssey - Incubus
  12. In Amber Clad
  13. The Last Spartan
  14. Orbit Of Glass
  15. 3rd Movement Of The Odyssey - Incubus
  16. Heavy Price Paid
  17. Earth City
  18. High Charity
  19. 4th Movement Of The Odyssey - Incubus
  20. Remembrance
  21. Connected - Hoobastank

Product Details

  • Performer: Various Artists
  • Audio CD (November 9, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Soundtrack
  • Label: Sumthing Else
  • ASIN: B00067RF6E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,821 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michigoon VINE VOICE on December 2, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Yes, Incubus and Hoobastank and Breaking Benjamin are on here. And yes, that music is all in the game. Instrumentally, that is. A lot of people immediately scream that they can't imagine hearing some of the music in game, when they actually did, and didn't notice because the instrumental versions were used. If you hate Hoobastank and Incubus, never fear, the instrumental portions of their music are the primary focus and their lyrics are more or less thrown over them. Thus, even the greatest hater is still going to love the power of the music behind the people.

Marty O'Donnell and crew do it again. The soundtrack for Halo was one of the best videogame soundtracks ever produced, and Halo 2 might even up the bar. Long, flowing orchestrial pieces give way to thumping techno beats and intense musical queues that immediately create awe and wonder, or the urge to go out and save the world.

Fans of guitar solo features from the origional game (a la "Rock Anthem for Saving the World") will be especially pleased, as the "Holo Theme Mjolnir Mix" pounds out an amazing start to this soundtrack. Fans of the Gregorian-style chants and the tribal rhythms that dotted pieces in Halo will also be pleased- many of the old themes have been brought back and updated to carry their impact into the new game. "Ghosts of Reach" is definately going to be a recognizable track for Halo fans.

A great, great album on it's own merit made better by the videogame it represents. And heck, it's even got some pop influence to boot! Don't let the inclusion of a few big names keep you away from the rest of the content of this album- the pieces add to and back up Marty's work- they don't replace it.
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Format: Audio CD
There are a lot of complaints about the rock songs on this album, but most of them sounded fine to me. (We can X Hoobastank, since it really doesn't seem to have anything to do with the game, soundwise or not.) Save for that one, last track, I love the rest of the CD. "Follow" by Incubus is one song that I repeat all the time... in fact, it was that song that pushed me over the edge and made me buy the soundtrack. Hearing it in-game was a blast. (It's IN-game, so it is part of the game soundtrack, not just added in.)

The "problem" here is not that there is rock on the album: Halo is changing, this game is more intense than the first, and from what I've played, I like the new sound. It can't always be just Marty, and the fact that some big bands contributed to the album really shouldn't be that big of a deal. I have tremendous respect for Incubus, actually, because they composed four different pieces of music for the game, most of them over five minutes in length. (By the way, think it's too long? Think of it like a symphony... then it makes sense.)

My only real complaint is Hoobastank's song. I don't really like it. And "Never Surrender" throws me off a bit after listening to beautiful orchestral scores and intimidating rock songs--you want to talk about being out of place on an album? ^^;
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Format: Audio CD
Yea this Cd is great. Martin O' Donnell is one great composer! This music is highly recommended...especially is you like the first one...which is also amazing. The rock stuff actually is not that bad, but it takes up alot of the cd. Like the others have said i hope they put more of Martin's stuff on vol. 2. I emailed Nile Rogers, who produced this Cd, and he said that the rest of Martin's music would be included in vol. 2! Now here is my analysis of Halo 2 vol. 2.

(Rating 10 highest 0 lowest)

01. Halo Theme Mjolnir Mix-This is a great mix. Steve Vai is awsome on the gutiar, which is played with the excellent halo theme! (9)

02. Blow Me Away-Actually I thought this was a well done piece. It plays instrumental in the game though and i hope that is released on vol. 2!! (8)

03. Peril-This is a very happy track. Not to be played while blowing up grunts! (5)

04. Ghosts of Reach-This track resembles (Track 25. Dust And Echoes) on the original halo soundtrack. When the percussion kicks in at the end it sounds great! (6)

05. Flow (1st Movement)-I first heard about Incubus when I heard their "Warning" song, which is great. I listended to them on here and they are not that bad. This is one of their best tracks on the Cd. (10)

06. Heretic Hero-Great song, which echoes (Track 6. Walk In The Woods) on the original soundtrack. Very cool. (8)

07. Flawed Legacy-Amazing song. This is why Martin gets his music published! This one is similar to (Track 20. Perchance To Dream) on the original. (10)

08. Impend-Starts off with a teary beginning, but then swithces over to a very technoish style. There is a beat that sounds like a heartbeat which is creepy. Nice track! (8)

09. Never Surrender-...uhhh...no...
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I became interested in Halo when I heard my son and his father playing the game. I was so drawn in by the music that I learned to play, and since have become an enthusiast. My understanding is that the first soundtrack came out only after much public outcry for the CD.

Like the first Halo soundtrack, the original score for the follow-up game is beautifully composed and arranged. O'Donnell and Salvatori use a counterpoint of sweeping orchestral themes and human chants against military and/or majestic rhythms. In texture and feel, the music is very reminiscent of Ennio Morricone's unforgettable score from "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly". The triumphant military beats against the mournful melodies are heart-wrenching, both when you are actually playing the game and when listening to the CD. In both Halo 1 and 2, the soundtrack is a combination of power and sorrow, exploration and loss.

In the Halo 1 soundtrack, the first rock rhythms were introduced in the track "Rock Anthem for Saving the World". Although not to my taste, my 10-year-old son listened to the song over and over. These new tracks on the Halo 2 CD (as well as the song "Blow Me Away", which I believe was in the end credits of the game?) are in spirit keeping with that classic rock feel. These songs are high energy but lack the haunting quality of so many of the the orchestral tracks. Also, the variations on the trademark Halo melody played by these musicians sound embarrassingly amateur in comparison to the score. I believe this is inevitable due to the richness and the complexity of the orchestral arrangements. The "rock" songs would be fine on their own, but they pale in comparison.

The main problem with the CD is that the new tracks are interspersed randomly with the orchestral score tracks.
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