Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II The Complete Soundtrack

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II The Complete Soundtrack. Лицевая сторона . Click to zoom.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II The Complete Soundtrack
Лицевая сторона
Composed by Doyle W. Donehoo
Published by Sumthing Else
Catalog number SE-3008-2
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 2 Digital - 35 tracks
Release date April 26, 2011
Duration 02:12:01
Genres
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Overview

Most Warhammer games released in the first decade of the 21st century had presented the franchise in the context of a real-time strategy title. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War was a brave departure from that formula, fashioning its single-player campaign in the style of an action role-playing game à la Diablo. That didn't stop the game from garnering all-round critical praise upon release in 2009, particularly on the strength of its more traditional multiplayer component. Two equally well-received expansions, Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising and Dawn of War II: Retribution were released in 2010 and 2011 respectively. The soundtrack for all these titles was composed by industry veteran Doyle W. Donehoo, who had previously worked on the Savage and America's Army franchises. To the delight of Warhammer and soundtrack fans, his score for Dawn of War II was made available as a free download right after the game's release. Coinciding with Dawn of War II: Retribution's release in early 2011, game soundtrack label Sumthing Else Music Works announced Warhammer 40,000 -Dawn of War- The Complete Soundtrack, a two disc collection that would hold the music for Dawn of War II and its two expansions.

Body

It's interesting to observe that Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II, written some years after Warhammer: Mark of Chaos by a different composer, somehow manages to repeat almost all the mistakes that its dreary predecessor made. But let's start with the good news. One of Mark of Chaos' most significant shortfalls was that its pieces were supposed to be rallying battle cries, but they never mustered up nearly enough energy and aggression. Dawn of War II passes that test with flying colours: every track on this collection is a relentless, larger than life call to arms that rarely drops below forte volumes. This shouldn't come as much of a surprise, given that Donehoo in interviews professed his love for "the bombastic Hollywood style of music" and that he "set out to have a huge sound to go with the vast Warhammer universe." From the first track, "There Is Only One War (Opening Title)", a bold march laced with a female solo voice, Dawn of War II makes clear that it will take no prisoners. While the orchestral palette is somewhat similar to Mark of Chaos, with its focus on the orchestra's lower registers, Dawn of War II's brass-driven bombast sports much denser textures and is considerably richer orchestrated. The most significant addition to the instrumental palette are vocals, usually in the shape of majestic, forceful choir parts that sometimes support the music's rhythmic drive in their staccato incarnations and overall increase the pervading sense of grandiosity. The most rousing cues are "Khaine's Wrath" and "For the Craftswold", which contrast the omnipresent march-based pompousness with the sounds of a female choir, balancing the music's higher and lower registers and deriving a great deal of drama from this juxtaposition.

Taken on their own then, each track on Dawn of War II is more entertaining — and just plain louder — than anything on Mark of Chaos and the quite dark music easily conveys the feeling of a fierce galactic battle erupting around the listener. Each piece in itself then is quite effective, if a bit flat — and that's where the trouble starts. The compositions on Dawn of War II are a bit better shaped than their aimless predecessors on Mark of Chaos. But there's still not nearly enough development within the tracks on Dawn of War II to justify their considerable running times — most pieces on this compilation run for more than four minutes, but they might as well finish after two. There's the occasional crescendo and textures change more frequently than on Mark of Chaos, but only to a limited degree. A typical cue on Dawn of War II will start out as a lumbering march that wants to be really, really epic and so the music, with very few occasions, is constantly pitched at the same militaristic intensity. As a result, tracks like "Primarch's Honour" lack direction and simply start to drag on and on. Exacerbating this issue is the lack of memorable melodies that could shape a piece. Once in a while, inspired melodic moments occur. While "The Green Horde Rises" features the same towering brass as virtually every cue on Dawn of War II, the piece becomes more imposing once the melodic elements are give a chance to contrast with the varied and harsh percussion. "Hunting the Hive Tyrant" features some elating violin chord progressions after 1:20, but then descends into more generic grandiloquence. All in all, this is music that aims to impress through its sheer sonic force, not through its melodic content.

Looking at this again from a track-by-track perspective, this means that individual compositions are rarely outstanding, but still get the job done and could at least make for some mindless fun. But then one realises that the problems that apply to the structure of each cue also apply to the album as a whole, and things take a steep turn southwards. Not only do the tracks each sound the same during their running times, they also feel like clones of each other, with little differentiating one piece from the previous one — or the one that played an hour ago. As on Mark of Chaos, hardly any cue chooses another tempo than that of a lumbering war march — energetic action tracks are hard to come by on Dawn of War II. And when such a composition pops up, for example "No Mercy No Respite", it still suffers from sounding directionless and unfocused. There's never a feeling that the album develops an engaging flow or least builds towards a climax closer to the soundtrack's end. It's all the same emotionally one-note pompousness, a formula that is applied again and again without much concern for variation. And while Mark of Chaos had the decency to end the monotony after 50 minutes, Dawn of War II goes on and on and on for a whopping 130 minutes.

As on Mark of Chaos, the music also fails to convey the idea that the player can choose between four different, distinctive races. There are some attempts at individualising compositions based on which race they're supposed to underscore, but these efforts fall flat. The Ork material first introduced on "March of the Waagh! (Ork Theme)" predictably emphasises slightly savage rhythms played on more organic percussion than usually. But since the whole album is underpinned already by lumbering march material, the Ork material has trouble standing out from the rest of the music merely on the benefits of its rhythmic focus. "Ancient Rites (Eldar Theme)" and "Xeno Presence (Tyranid Theme)" are equally predictable in the tone colours they apply. The Eldar race is scored with lighter textures — an ethereal choir backed by the violins is a nice change of atmosphere. And though the march elements take over soon enough, the track maintains a good balance between sounding gritty and uplifting. Trouble is that this supposed signature sound is only found on "Ancient Rites (Eldar Theme)" and on no other cue. The dissonant string material and clicking, whirring sounds that first signify the Tyranids on "Xeno Presence (Tyranid Theme)" return on some cues like "Hunting the Hive Tyrant" and "They Come in Waves and We Push Them Back" (you can smell all the manly sweat, can't you?) But these ingredients are only used to embellish what remains essentially the same heavy-going, turgid composition.

And although some these tracks have the word "theme" in their title, don't expect them to provide any recurring thematic material — this soundtrack is a loose collection of pieces that are tied together by their never-changing mood, not any structural devices. Other additions to the orchestral palette are the organ and electric guitar at the start of disc two and an operatic male solo voice later on the same disc. But again, it's the execution that's lacking. The guitar and organ are added in decidedly uninspired fashion and just add more noisy layers to emphasise the already oppressive grandeur of the music. And the operatic vocals are mixed so far into the background that they might as well be just not there.

Summary

Like its predecessor Mark of Chaos, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II turns out to be a monotonous bore. Yes, the pieces themselves are more interesting than on Mark of Chaos, each and every single track densely orchestrated and full of testosterone-fuelled braggadocio. But that last characteristic is also Dawn of War II's downfall: the music is completely one-note, never significantly changing atmosphere, intensity or textures. What's entertaining in the first ten minutes becomes a test of patience and endurance after more than two hours. If there's a score that didn't require a complete release, but instead careful selection, it's the one for Dawn of War II and its extensions. And the extended running time of many pieces only works against the soundtrack, with the compositions' lack of development or melody all the more apparent when the cues run for close to five minutes. And then there's of course the fact that more than half of this music has been available for more than a year as a free digital download, which doesn't help the value of this collection. The best advice is to listen to this score in small doses — otherwise, you're in for an overload of militaristic bombast that will likely turn you into a pacifist before the album's running time is over.



Album
4/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Simon Elchlepp

Sumthing Else выпускает полный саундтрек Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II

Sumthing Else решила порадовать всех любителей мрачной вселенной Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II, выпустив полный саундтрек из игры и двух её аддонов Chaos Rising и Retribution. Джереми Соул, композитор оригинального Dawn of War, был заменён на Дойла Донеху, которому удалось поднять планку качества музыки на... Expand

 27.04.2011    1461
Album was composed by Doyle W. Donehoo and was released on April 26, 2011. Soundtrack consists of 35 tracks tracks with duration over more than 2 hours. Album was released by Sumthing Else.

CD 1

1
There Is Only One War (Opening Title)
02:53
2
Angels Of Death (Space Marine Theme)
02:59
3
Primarch's Honour
04:34
4
No Mercy No Respite
04:37
5
March Of The Waaagh! (Ork Theme)
03:02
6
Purge The Xeno Scum
04:35
7
Forged In Battle
04:35
8
Ancient Rites (Eldar Theme)
03:01
9
The Green Horde Rises
04:36
10
Khaine's Wrath
04:31
11
Attack Of The Heretics
04:34
12
Xeno Presence (Tyranid Theme)
03:02
13
For The Craftworld
04:37
14
They Come In Waves And We Push Them Back
04:36
15
The Great Devourer
04:34
16
To Battle Brothers
04:37
17
Hunting The Hive Tyrant
04:38
18
The Emperor's Victory
02:04

CD 2

1
Blasphemer's March
05:31
2
Dark Calculation
04:01
3
Orchestrated Catastrophe
04:11
4
Hymn of the Black Legion
04:05
5
Vindiction
04:05
6
Reprieve and Reprisal
04:09
7
Signals of the Lost (Noobie vs Rennegade's Ocularis Terribus remix)
05:30
8
Relentless War
01:32
9
There Will Be Retribution
03:19
10
Blood and Skulls
03:10
11
Blood of Man
04:11
12
Judgement
01:06
13
Once More into the Breach
04:07
14
Choir of Destruction
01:28
15
Imperial Creed
04:16
16
Pit of Maledictus
03:06
17
Bringer of Ruin
02:09
28.02.13
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