Monday, April 26, 2010

God Of War III by Gerard Marino, Ron Fish, Cris Velasco, Mike Reagan & Jeff Rona (Review)

The immensely popular God Of War franchise makes its PS3 debut with the third installment of the franchise. For anyone whose played the first two games or has heard any of the scores they should know that this is a loud and over the top experience.

The score features the talents of 5 great composers. Gerard Marino, Ron Fish, Cris Velasco, Mike Reagan & Jeff Rona all contributed to the score. Sometimes when you have this many people working on a score you come across identity confusion where the cohesive whole of the score suffers, but this isn’t the case.

The score is a grand venture to say the least. The music is loud, in your face and takes charge. It creates an other worldly atmosphere with godlike presence that would make Zeus proud. The use of the male chorus is the key ingredient in achieving this, but not all the score is over the top mythological madness.

The use of a few ethnic instruments give it an ancient feel and in a way give it a historical presence. The only real lacking part of the score is grounding thematic material. That is one of the many cons of a massive composer team. Thematic material gets lost as each composer does their own parts. While it’s impossible for me to say the score has no identity it does lack that emotional connecting characteristic that thematically grounded scores do have. While some of the tracks do have some identifiable melodies it’s hard to deny that the score overall washes over you with pulsing percussion and roaring vocals at times.

When the score settles down a bit it can be great. Tracks like “The Muse’s Song” is a great example of simple melodies infused with ethnic instruments that give the score its grounding.

The score may give your head a good pounding so don’t listen to it if your tired. It captures the energy of the game and infuses atmosphere to give the score an unmistakable identity. It’s a great approach from all those involved.

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