on 23 April 2013
Steve Jablonsky once again returns to score the next GOW game, Judgement. Along with unknown Zimmer associate Jacob Shea, this release is unlike either of Jablonsky's previous scores for the series. Please note, this review is based only on what I heard on the CD, rather than how it sounds in the game (and from what I have read, it works very well).
The orchestral style of the previous albums has largely gone. Occasional strings and brass are pretty much all you get, and are replaced with electronics and metal. The main GOW theme is back in various guises, however none are particularly epic or as well orchestrated compared to previous installments and it is certainly not the centerpiece of the album.
There were no "standout" tracks that I think deserve specific mention, however this reflects the fact that I am not a fan of the style of the album, and have no real point of reference by which to compare it. The sound quality of the album is great though.
For me, this review merely serves as a warning to those people who might be thinking of buying it based on the style of GOW2 and 3. This CD will divide opinion. I loved Jablonsky's orchestral scores for GOW2 and GOW3, but the change in style for electronics and metal was not something that I can say I enjoyed. However, I appreciate that many people would think this is an improvement because orchestral scores are a somewhat niche taste. If you enjoyed the music within the game, or have at least some appreciation for metal/electronics, this soundtrack will be right up your street. However, for people who like the orchestral style of his previous scores and think this might be a good standalone album, this is most certainly not the case. Think carefully before buying or listen to track samples if you are unsure, because you could end up with an album that you either love, or hate.
The 2*s I gave it was based on the prior assumption that I made that it would be more of the same orchestral style by Jablonsky, and thus I was disappointed. However, for fans of metal/electronics you would no doubt rate it more highly than I, and would be interested to see what other people think.
on 22 July 2015
Therefore a different approach to the music seems appropriate. The thing that people seem often to forget about Gears of War: Judgment is that in it, the characters we know and love are young (in Baird's case I doubt he's more than about 22 years old) and so is the struggle against the Locust. This soundtrack lacks the sorrowful orchestral influence of the others for, in my opinion, this exact reason. It isn't about trying desperately to save the little that's left... it's about youth, independence, struggle and defiance.
The previous reviewer stated that there weren't any standout tracks. I tend to disagree, on a purely personal level. I most enjoy 'Jacked', 'Undefined Charges', 'High Surge', 'A New Plan', 'Shibboleth' and 'Forbidden Streets'. They all capture the essence of the fight, which I think is best summed up by quoting Arthur Wellesley, the First Duke of Wellington: "Hard pounding this, gentlemen; let's see who will pound longest."
If you are buying this because you think it will be like the first three OSTs, you'll be disappointed. But if you do like the more electronic/heavy rock genre of music, you'll most likely enjoy it. If, like me, you love the game, it's a must-buy. The disc also has the added bonus of being AutoRip eligible, meaning Amazon helpfully supplies a free digital copy of the album when you buy the physical CD.