Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the official soundtrack album for Gears of War 2 has been unleashed onto the gaming public. Of course the music fits the game like a well placed torque bow arrow into the unsuspecting backside of your enemy, but how does it play when enjoyed away from the game? Saddle up your Brumak and read on.
Released much closer this time to the release of the game (as opposed to several months later), the soundtrack album is among the recent flood of offerings from the game soundtrack experts at Sumthing Else Music Works. Available in both physical and digital form, the album release itself improves upon the original in the same way Gears 2 improves upon its predecessor. Now there was absolutely nothing wrong with original Gears of War composer Kevin Reipel’s score, however Gears 2’s music maestro Steve Jablonsky does have a pedigree involving scoring music for scenes involving death by chainsaw.
Jablonsky has upped the stakes in terms of quality of the performance by using the Skywalker Symphonic Orchestra and Chorus with recording done at Skywalker Sound, utilizing these talents to make his composition much grander and epic in scope from the original. If you aren’t familiar with Steve Jablonsky’s name, well how dare you! Don’t you read the credits during movies? If you had you would have known he is the man behind the music of such movies as “Transformers” (and its upcoming sequel) along with a very impressive list of horror/gore-fests, including the recent remake and prequel to “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” How many people can honestly say that they have worked on the two best known entertainment franchises involving the inappropriate use of gardening equipment?
The interesting thing about spinning the 27-track CD is how well the music stands on its own. If you enjoy bombastic orchestral music then this will fit in nicely in your background music play list. If you play a ton of Gears 2’s multiplayer, you have heard the opening piece “Return of the Omen” more than a lot. Other stand out pieces include “Hope Runs Deep,” “March of the Horde” and the second to last track, “Finale” with chorus voices in full effect. If you have a gamer on your holiday gift list and you are on a budget, the soundtrack album to “Gears of War 2” would be more than appropriate. If they don’t have a 360, well… get one and put it in a really big stocking for them too!
Rick “Horde Mode” Damigella