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HALO 4 Original Soundtrack

Halo 4
Original SOundtrack
343 Industries
October 19th, 2012

Let’s get a few things out of the way first. I am not a gamer. The last video game I played was Super Mario for Wii. I’ve never played any of the HALO releases but I admit that they look great and I would someday like too. I’ve speculated that, when seeing various commercials for game play, the music accomponying the game would be heavy, industrial and haunting if heard in in entirety.
Until last week, I’d not paid much attention the various scores composed by Neil Davidge. I knew about his earlier work with Massive Attack and his production work with the likes of Snoop Dogg and David Bowie, but I was never a big fan of scores. With a few rare exceptions, they always seemed to be just background noise in a movie or television show.  Hearing Davidge’s score for Halo 4 has changed my mind.
The recording process took play at Abbey Road Studios in London. Yes, that Abbey Road, which should have been my first hint that this was going to be an epic body of work. Davidge and his production team then hand-picked a choir consiting of 16 male tenor/bass vocalists, an additional 10 female Bulgarian vocalists, a full 50-piece orchestra, and a host of other performers to work on the soundtrack. The final product is one of the most brilliant albums I’ve heard since Daft Punk’s score to Tron Legacy.
Listening to this soundtrack makes me want to wait in line for the midnight release of Halo 4 and spend the rest of my life playing the role of Master Chief.  I know very little about the plot of Halo 4, but if this soundtrack is any indication, the game’s story will be rather dark and violent with only a few glimpses of calmer moments.
The string arrangement in “Solace” are haunting when coupled with the ethereal vocals of the female vocalists. Tracks like “Faithless” and “Ascendancy” bridge the gap between an intense industrial vibe and heavy metal beats. The eerily haunting “Immaterial” could easily be placed in a horror movie, just as the killer is ready to strike out at the unsuspecting victim. Closing with the harrowing “Green and Blue” pushed the limits of just how magnificent this album is.  The track is over 8 minutes in length and rides the line between a ghostly chorus and driving mechanical chords.
Also included is a remix album of select tracks found on the album and tracks exclusive to the video game, “Foreshadow” and “The Beauty of Cortana”. As amazing as each of the remix tracks are from the likes of Alvin Risk, Hundred Waters and Andrew Bayer are, it was the non-album tracks remixed by James “Smashing Pumpkins” Iha and Apocalyptica that truly set the tone for me.  
Over all, the completed body of work has a very natural feel. The score isn’t forced. The album feels natural and belongs in every fan’s library.

Track listing

Halo 4 Original Soundtrack  
No. Title Length  
1. “Awakening”   5:41
2. “Belly of the Beast”   2:39
3. “Requiem”   2:16
4. “Legacy”   2:29
5. “Faithless”   5:02
6. “Haven”   5:45
7. “Nemesis”   3:31
8. “Ascendancy”   4:20
9. “Solace”   4:45
10. “To Galaxy”   4:58
11. “Immaterial”   7:33
12. “117”   7:29
13. “Arrival”   5:37
14. “Revival”   7:19
15. “Green and Blue”   7:59
Halo 4 Original Soundtrack Remixes  
No. Title Length  
1. “Awakening” (Gui Boratto remix)  
2. “Green and Blue” (KOAN Sound remix)  
3. “Requiem” (Bobby Tank remix)  
4. “Ascendancy” (Caspa remix)  
5. “To Galaxy” (Sander Van Doorn & Julian Jordan remix)  
6. “Haven” (Hundred Waters remix)  
7. “Revival” (DJ Skee & THX remix)  
8. “Ascendancy” (Matt Lange remix)  
9. “Nemesis” (Alvin Risk remix)  
10. “Solace” (Maor Levi remix)  
11. “Arrival” (Norin & Rad remix)  
12. “Green and Blue” (Andrew Bayer remix)  
13. “Foreshadow” (James Iha remix)  
14. “The Beauty of Cortana” (Apocalyptica vs. Neil Davidge remix)

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