Alright, so maybe we shouldn’t start off a game soundtrack review with re-opening the whole “Vikings are better than (fill in the blank) debate, but, let’s face it, the truth is, Vikings rule. While the game Viking: Battle for Asgard came out earlier this year, its accompanying soundtrack album only recently dropped. Is it worth a listen, even if you didn’t play the game? Grab your horned helmet and read on.
Sega really didn’t spare the expense of putting together a high-quality music score for the game. Enlisting the composing talents of Richard Beddow, Walter Mair and Simon Ravn, the music was performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus. The soundtrack album itself is among the newer offerings from the trailblazing Sumthing Else Music Works, who are quite frankly becoming the Vikings of game music in the States. Plundering music from top games and serving it up on a silver platter (or download) for hungry fans.
The two questions I always ask of game soundtracks is “who is it for?” and “how does it play away from the game?” If you liked the game, you should probably should be/already are spinning this soundtrack. Never played the game? Yes, it does hold up well when listened to on its own. There are 29 tracks on the disc, with varying lengths and moods, from epic in scope to moody background movements, so its good for those who enjoy orchestral battle themes. And at the very minimum, table top fantasy RPG players have another set of music to propel their pen and paper battles.
Stand out numbers include “Choir of Valkyries” and “The Battle for Darkwater.” Kudos for the inclusion of the 14 second fanfare for developer Creative Assembly, even if only the hardest of the hardcore fans and the developers get a kick out of it. Hey, don’t laugh! It’s the fifth most purchased track from the album on iTunes! All in all, Viking: Battle for Asgard is a decent listen. About the only thing missing could have been a theme song recorded by Viking Metal band, Turisas!
Rick “Miklagard” Damigella