MP3: Assassin’s Creed – Brotherhood (2010)

January 15, 2011 | By

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Rating: Very Good

Label: Ubisoft Music / Released: November 16, 2010

Tracks & Album Length: 20 tracks / (63:02)

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Special Notes: Downloadable album contains bonus cut.

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Composer: Jesper Kyd

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Review:

Within film circles, Jesper Kyd’s best known work is Cameron Romero’s disappointing Staunton Hill (2009), but the composer’s abilities are much better represented in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Ubisoft Montreal’s action & adventure videogame set in antiquity.

Kyd’s music isn’t just action-oriented; using ethereal chorals, incantations, and a diverse instrumental palette, the game’s score plunges one into a period of gloomy philosophies, a sense of paranoia, and confrontations in which a player’s either confronting a few or a mass of combatants.

If there’s any major mood that dominates Kyd’s lengthy score, it’s intrigue, and while some may find the music delves into trance terrain, there is a progression for the listener with pauses, assaults, pulsing flights from danger, and beautiful, mystical interludes. The style is generally modern orchestral scoring, with infusions of period, electronica, folk and liturgical elements.

“City of Rome” is dominated by a rustic violin solo, with subtle chorals and a thumping marching rhythm and meditative acoustic guitar, whereas in “Brotherhood Escapes” Kyd returns to his motif of shrill metallic sounds (evoking clashing swords and screeching armor plates), and a pumping contemporary rhythm with occasional choral backing.

Synth cello provides a delicate lament in “Desmond Miles,” and the mood remains quite somber in spite of a continuous electric pulse, and eddies of bass tones swirling furtively in the background. Kyd creates a similar variation with synth violin and a repeated chime in “VR Room,” and the album closes with the brief kinetic bonus cut “End Fight,” wherein Kyd assembles antique sounds with choral samples, and a series of pounding percussion textures.

Sumthing Else’s CD offers a solid selection of cues, but what’s important is the dramatic variety Kyd managed to craft for each player segment, and the care in integrating moody thematic statements within action cues. It’s a great sampling of the composer’s fluid fusion of modern and old world sounds, free from the bombast that lesser composers would employ..

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© 2011 Mark R. Hasan

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External References:

IMDB Soundtrack Album Composer Filmography

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