Halo 4 Remixed – Album Review

 Artist: Neil Davidge
Album: Halo 4: Original Soundtrack Remixes
Label: Microsoft Studios
Release Date: October 22, 2012

The soundtrack to every game in the Halo series has historically been far superior to almost every other game soundtrack in existence. These soundracks are fully orchestrated, cinematic, and epic beyond most common forms of measurement. Halo 4 was released by a different team than the rest of the series, so many were concerned that the quality wouldn’t be up to par with previous games; they were wrong. The soundtrack to this game is incredible, the mastering is impeccable and the instrumentation is damn near flawless.

To promote the coming title, Microsoft handed out the soundtrack to several high-profile artists for the purpose of creating one of the best soundtrack remix albums in history. Koan Sound, Gui Boratto, Norin & Rad, and Hundred Waters are just a few of the big names on this record, and each remix lives up to the reputation of the  artist that crafted it. Microsoft seems to have taken a cue from Walt Disney Records’s massive success with the Tron Legacy soundtrack and its high profile, remixed counterpart Tron Legacy R3C0NF1GUR3D. R3C0NF1GUR3D, in my opinion at the time, was the greatest thing to happen to a soundtrack in recorded history. Not only was the original soundtrack from one of the most iconic bands in EDM history, Daft Punk, but the remix album sported some of the biggest names in the industry: The Glitch Mob, Avicii, Kaskade, Boys Noize, The Crystal Method, Pretty Lights and Paul Oakenfold. Halo 4 Remixed, in my opinion, is just as good, if not better

The album starts off with a Gui Boratto remix of Awakening. The track is a fast and easygoing trancy blend of classical and tech house, driven by epic piano and relaxed beats. This track truly sets the tone for the rest of the album by mixing just the right amount of the original song’s classical instrumentaion with Gui Boratto’s personal style.

The next track is the KOAN Sound remix of Green and Blue. This track is arguably the most high-profile mix on this album, and for good reason. KOAN Sound is not known for regularly releasing music one would describe as “beautiful,” but this song is one massive exception. It is truly the perfect blend of chillwave, electronica, dubstep and classical orchestra. Even someone who doesn’t like or regularly listen to Electronic music will be left breathless by this spectacular track; you owe it to yourself to give it a listen.

It is incredibly hard to decide which of these tracks is my favorite, but if I had to choose one it would probably be the Norin & Rad remix of Arrival. The track starts off with beautiful orchestral strings straight from the original track accompanied by a relaxed broken beat that gently lulls you into a sense of relaxed complacency. The classical beauty is interrupted, however, by a bell and drum loop that urgently kicks up the tempo to a pinnacle, only to be dropped into one of the filthiest glitch-hop breakdowns known to man. The song becomes beyond groovy, driving your entire soul forward in a driving rhythm of bassy synths and high strings. This songs combination of epic strings, synths, and filthy glitch-hop style is beyond epic. If you like filthy bass and groovy beats, this song is for you.

The album ends with Apocalyptica vs. Neil Davidge in The Beauty of Cortana. This song starts out as a purely classical song, no EDM involved. In fact, the whole song is quite different than the rest of the album because Apocalyptica is a metal band, not a DJ. Instead of an epic synth breakdown, the final song on this record has an epic guitar solo. But, even though this song’s instrumentation contrasts with that of the rest of the album, it works. This song is the perfect way to end such an epic album; it is the last big finale of one of the greatest albums of the year; if not the decade.

Reviewed by Kevin Perkins

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