Unreal Original Soundtrack

Unreal Original Soundtrack. Передняя обложка. Click to zoom.
Unreal Original Soundtrack
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Covers release: PC Game Soundtrack Database
Composed by Alexander Brandon / Andrew Sega / Dan Gardopée / Michiel van den Bos
Published by GT Interactive Software Corp.
Catalog number 04-15949
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 1 CD - 20 tracks
Release date 1998
Duration 00:59:03
Genres Electronica / Ethnic: Tribal / Tracker
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Overview

Unreal set the precedent for many first-person shooters with its excellent story-led presentation and ground-breaking engine. Among the many impressive features of the game was its soundtrack by Alexander Brandon and Michiel van den Bos. The electronic music for the game set the atmosphere for the title wonderfully while being enjoyable on a stand-alone level too. The soundtrack was so popular that it received a commercial release — rare for American-composed soundtracks of the day.

Body

The main title theme for Unreal sets the tone for the game beautifully. The deep synthpads and string passages during the introduction provide a suitable depiction of an alien world. While this soundscaping is quite serious and cinematic, the melody that enters thereafter is much more reminiscent of classic game music with its rich shape and synthy feel. Setting the precedent for future sci-fi shooter scores like Perfect Dark, Alexander Brandon did a great job of creating a fitting mood while keeping things fun and appealing.

Among Brandon's other contributions, "Dig" wouldn't be out of place in a stealth section of a game, with its slow beat and thin textures. The way the melody comes in actually reminds me of some of the gold produced during the Amiga days, although the sampling is considerably more mature. Another surprisingly emotional track is "Skytown", which evolves through a considerable dramatic arch during its playtime through an ambient and combat section. It's a vivid complement to the setting that works well on a stand-alone basis too. I was also impressed by Brandon's "Vortex Rikers" and "Ruins", which provide a somewhat darker perspective on the Unreal universe.

The other contributors to the Unreal soundtrack embellish the soundtrack with some diverse contributions. Michiel van den Bos' "Chizra" is quite a bit more abstract than Brandon's tracks, with its mixture of industrial and ethnic percussion. Less impressive is "Bluff Eversmoking", which features a cool bass synth underneath some synth pad chords, though doesn't develop much beyond that. Andrew Sega makes an impact with "Isotoxin", an edgy and experimental techno track, while Dan Gardopée's "Erosion" is an immersive piece of ambient electronic soundscapes that takes listeners to some bizarre places. I can't get enough of the latter to this day.

Towards the climax of the score, Brandon offers one of the moody electronic pieces I've heard in a game: "Wargate". The soundscaping is fantastic here, with the soundtrack's characteristic synthpads blending with some beautiful vocal parts. Actually three tracks combined into one, the shift in intensity towards the end of the track gives a sense of the impending climax. The track is highly impressive from a technological perspective, due to its elegant sampling and extensive development. Furthermore, it is a fine example of how game music can be abstract and dark without becoming boring or oppressive like so much other music today.

The release ends with a bonus remix interpreting the music from Unreal in a Euro dance style. It's an enjoyable track with plenty of melodic emphasis and upbeat stylings, though hasn't stood the test of time particularly well unlike the rest of the music here. It is stylistically quite superficial and doesn't have much mainstream appeal either, given it is a bit dated compared to today's club beats. Still, it reflects that the Unreal team put considerable time into making the music for the game both good in the game and suitable for stand-alone listening.

Summary

Overall, the soundtrack for Unreal was an impressive achievement in game music. It succeeds in being melodically compelling, functionally effective, and technologically commanded, and remains an enjoyable stand-alone listen to this day. The commercial release of the soundtrack is certainly the definitive one, with its polished presentation and extensive length. However, note that it lacks some tracks from the game and a couple of exclusives on the strategy guide soundtrack.



Album
9/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Joe Hammond

Overview

Unreal set the precedent for many first-person shooters with its excellent story-led presentation and ground-breaking engine. Among the many impressive features of the game was its soundtrack by Alexander Brandon and Michiel van den Bos. The electronic music for the game set the atmosphere for the title wonderfully while being enjoyable on a stand-alone level too. In addition to a full 20 track soundtrack release, a 13 track soundtrack was included with the strategy guide version of the game.

Body

Despite its sparing length, there are a couple of exclusive tracks featured on the soundtrack for Unreal. One of these is the main theme, which sets the tone for the game with its mixture of synthy melodies and sci-fi soundscaping. It's a great track, though the opening track on the commercial release is somewhat better in my opinion. Less impressive is "Extreme", which is too short to be a worthwhile exclusive despite its functional merits.

Among the conserved tracks on this release, "Dig" wouldn't be out of place in a stealth section of a game, with its slow beat and thin textures. The way the melody comes in actually reminds me of some of the gold produced during the Amiga days, although the sampling is considerably more mature. Another surprisingly emotional track is "Skytown", which evolves through a considerable dramatic arch during its playtime. It's a vivid complement to the setting that works well on a stand-alone basis too.

I was also impressed by Brandon's "Vortex Rikers" and "Ruins", which provide a somewhat darker perspective on the Unreal universe. Michiel van den Bos' "Chizra" is quite a bit more abstract than Brandon's tracks, with its mixture of industrial and ethnic percussion. "Cellars of Dasa" is also quite effective in context, though I would have preferred other selections such as "Wargate" or "Erosion" from the commercial soundtrack in its place.

As with the commercial soundtrack, the release ends with a bonus remix interpreting the music from Unreal in a Euro dance style. It's an enjoyable track with plenty of melodic emphasis and upbeat stylings, though hasn't stood the test of time particularly well unlike the rest of the music here. It is stylistically quite superficial and doesn't have much mainstream appeal either, given it is a bit dated compared to today's club beats.

Summary

Overall, the soundtrack for Unreal was an impressive achievement in game music. It succeeds in being melodically compelling, functionally effective, and technologically commanded, and remains an enjoyable stand-alone listen to this day. That said, this strategy guide soundtrack features just 30 minutes of music and omits a number of great tracks, so it is better to head for the commercial soundtrack release.



Album
6/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Joe Hammond

Alexander Brandon пишет новый альбом... и не в одиночку!

Царь и бог трекерной музыки Александр Брендон (саундтреки к Unreal Tournament, Deus Ex, Jazz Jackrabbit 2, а, олдфаги?) замутил сбор средств на создание нового альбома с участием других гениев с трекерным прошлым - Andrew Sega, Bryan Rudge, Virt, Zircon с супругой и некоторых других. Вложившему определённую... Expand

 03.02.2014    1949

Интервью с Михилем ван ден Босом

Game-OST пообщался с голландским композиотором, в своё время приложившим руку к Deus Ex и Unreal. Ознакомиться с интервью. ... Expand

 15.09.2012    1648

Александр Брэндон основал Funky Rustic

Рано или поздно человеческая особь накапливает определённое количество опыта, получает левел-ап и эволюционирует. С точки зрения музыкантов, такой апгрейд вытекает в покупку/основание своей студии, которая в дальнейшем занимается продакшном и пост-продакшном музыки. Примерно это случилось с Александром Брэндоном ... Expand

 28.07.2010    2366

Релиз саундтрека

С недавно выпущенным сборником Unreal Anthology, в который вошли Unreal (+addon), Unreal II: The Awakening, Unreal Tournament и Unreal Tournament 2004, произошла интересная оказия. В коробке, помимо этих чудесных игр, любознательные покупатели могли обнаружить Audio CD диск с замысловатым названием "Greatest Hits".На диске вольготно располагались... Expand

 11.11.2006    2081
Album was composed by Alexander Brandon / Andrew Sega / Dan Gardopée / Michiel van den Bos and was released on 1998. Soundtrack consists of 20 tracks tracks with duration over about 60 minutes. Album was released by GT Interactive Software Corp..

Sounds like Electronica, Ethnic, Tracker - that's what we can say about this album.

CD 1

1
Main Title
03:24
2
Vortex Rikers
02:18
3
Dusk Horizon
02:31
4
Dig
02:25
5
Chizra
03:58
6
Chizra Ceremony
03:08
7
Visions
02:12
8
Ruins
04:13
9
Skytown
02:16
10
Cellars of Dasa
02:09
11
Erosion
05:04
12
Isotoxin
04:09
13
Crater
03:14
14
Bluff Eversmoking
03:51
15
The Queen
01:32
16
Guardian of Stone
01:45
17
Wargate
02:26
18
The Fifth Hub
03:44
19
End Title
04:44
20
Unreal Euro Dance Mix
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