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Halo 2, Vol. 1 Import, Soundtrack
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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.
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? ^^;
(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...Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
CD was arrived as said from the tracking information. CD case arrived with some cracks on the cover, but the actual CD works just fine.Published 5 months ago by Eric
I love the rendition of thr mjolnir mix of the halo theme in this soundtrack. It is sooo much better than the gungnir mix!Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
Truly mesmerizing soundtrack. Best video game album ever released hands down. I get goosebumps every time I press play. A++++++++ buy it now!!Published 9 months ago by Nick
first heard it 4 years ago when I was in 6th grade. Liked it ever sincePublished 17 months ago by Julian
AMAZING original soundtrack. Makes everyday life more epic. I can do my homework like I'm the Master Chief now.Published 19 months ago by luke101hj
very beautiful music. It is amazing, some of it relaxing some of it was invigorating. This was a gift for my son. We traveled yesterday and played this over and over. Read morePublished 19 months ago by 4fabfelines