No more symphonic minimalism, abstract soft keyboards or female operatic vocals – all romance completely dried up. In Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (the continuation of Assassin's Creed 2) the central figure Ezio Auditore is no longer an emotional young man, experiencing the death of the family. He appears now as the master of the Assassins, and his main mission - revenge. Bloody-grim stories of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood do no longer need the full of femininity musical matter, atmospheric ambient and flowing melodies, peacefully outspreaded over Florence and Venice of the Renaissance - the place and time of Assassin's Creed 2. Heroes and events of "The Brotherhood" live in ancient Rome and the arenas of combat operations are displayed with a deadly sound: the drums of war - rough and epic. They are not derived from the tools properly, like embody the broken arms, and mostly dreadful male chorals emphasize the power of the Roman Empire.
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood – game-afterword, fast twelve-monthly project, built on the developments and technologies of a successful Assassin's Creed 2. Music groundwork of the second part is also used in the "Brotherhood" to the maximum: the bulk of the soundtrack fits on a slightly reworked «Florentine» and «Venetian» theme, which is expanded with more gloomy textures, the alternative violins and guitars, and sometimes removed, or on contrary, added rhythmic pattern. This array of sounds only in the game and passed beyond the official soundtrack, tracklist which is one hour all-new "militarized" music recorded specifically for the game. And this music is problematic: it is monotone and pressure, throughout the album, continuously taping the endless rhythms and, with rare exceptions, not giving rest your ears and brain, though still works as a game soundtrack, and besides the one, only could be written by Jesper Kyd.
The first thing that catches your eye Kyd starts sinning the same things like (in his time) was star composer Bear McCreary (TV series Battlestar Galactica and The Walking Dead) - abuse of an epic percussion. In Assassin's Creed 2, it was organically entwine with the action, composition, percussion here - an attribute almost every track, it is in the center of attention. I can’t say Kyd suddenly changed the taste and harmony eluded composer (it's fine with taste, at least as well as venerable McCreary, and Kyd's ideas, as it seems, is more progressive for a couple of decades to come), but the music "Brotherhood" shows a certain fatigue. Not melancholy, as in the dramatic music of Assassin's Creed 2, but just fatigue - Kyd rarely composes two stylistically similar works on end and probably a medieval assassin's issue have bored him. And acoustic and electric guitars by Brian Trifon of IDM-project Trifonic are pushed to background (Trifonic became the real decoration not only Assassin's Creed 2, but also other works by Jesper Kyd - with Brian Trifon they worked on music for the horror thriller Staunton Hill filmed by G. Cameron Romero, son of the legendary George Romero).
Soundtracks of the first two games of the series Assassin's Creed consist of a complete instrumental hits - bright, instantly memorable songs, sometimes even if they were just shapeless ambient canvases. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood still has something to grasp your ears, but it's really a lack of hard shot down products and poorly built dramatic concept of album spoils the impression from the most successful things. The album is clearly not enough of fifteen or twenty minutes of background unrhythmical themes, for splitting between combat tracks (in the game enough material to album expand), and in contrast to Assassin's Creed 2 album opens very unshowy and boring. There are two main versions of the soundtrack, the filling of which differs slightly. First - CD from the Asian Collector's Edition (in European and American music is built into the DVD shell with bonus material, which is strongly engages western audience). The second - the official digital album. In the first option some introductory tracks are shuffled in a few, the track Flags of Rome is called Infiltrating the Borgia Castle, one track is missing, but there are two (though doubtful) exclusives - dark symphony Legacy of the Borgia Family and electro-industrial End Fight, not included in the official soundtrack to the previous game, but became memorable for a lot of players in the final of game. In the second one, digital, at the very end was placed missing in the Collector's Edition conceptual composition Apple Chamber in the style of Berlin's electronic school. Despite of option you will get, the beginning of the album is not as impressive as before: Borgia Occupation or Master Assassin.
In Borgia Occupation we hear multiple layers of vocals - the female voices in Latin in the foreground, a mystical whisper and bass man's on behind, vocals create an oppressive impression is increased by the smooth rhythms and leisured violin. The composition is built in the way the alarm increases gradually. There are no clearly pronounced entry - the music is like a ghost rising from somewhere from the shadows and begins to subside in the moment of supposed climax, until finally disappear in silence. Borgia Occupation - absolutely not an ordinary track, but it has no such strong impact as opening the second part explosive Earth. Master Assassin, in turn, sounds like a typical action-track from the second part - the acoustic guitar, percussion and a little more than usual, distorted, wrongly played string instruments. Structure of the Master Assassin reminds Borgia Occupation - extremely flat and devoid of emotional outbursts - not quite what we expected, inspired by the soundtrack of Assassin's Creed 2. The next two tracks, Cesare Borgia, and Flags of Rome even more nondescript, so I will drop their detailed description because of more fun begins.
The first of all, a powerful suite of City of Rome - the most richly arranged and divinely beautiful composition, which is both a remake of the beautiful Dreams of Venice and is clearly worthy of being the opening theme of the album. The six-minute City of Rome together interweaves the pathos of a huge metropolis and the extraordinary ease with which birds soar in the skies, amazing electronic backgrounds, guitar, violin, all sorts of voices. As in the previous Kyd's soundtracks Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is full for quotes not only from his own works. Well, in the City of Rome one can see echoes of Hans Zimmer's The Might of Rome (from the soundtrack to "Gladiator") as a whole: the attention to detail, epic, good job with the choir. An even greater impact on the Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood has a track from the "Alexander" (the emphasis to the percussion component), written by Kyd's favorite and most quoted composer - Vangelis. Like Freedom Fighters in its time, "Brotherhood" can be viewed as another confession to famous Greek, who, even in the heyday of the demo scene on the Amiga, Kyd shamelessly pilfered samples from him. In the second, too short, but brisk The Brotherhood Escapes - a real kick in the teeth of Zimmer and all the so-called "trailer" music in general. Melody The Brotherhood Escapes recalls the main theme of "The Rock" and in the same time in general all the modern applied symphonic electronics. Besides The Brotherhood Escapes is full of freshness and drive that Ubisoft should surely give for the tearing this track on pieces to trailer-makers. And this kind of music Kyd feels excellent. I remember not only expertly played by him debut video of Assassin's Creed 2, but the trailer for a Hollywood movie "V for Vendetta".
Electronic part in the Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood is minimized, because even the smallest sounds are recorded using live instruments. Of course, sometimes it seems claustrophobic strings were taken from the soundtrack of Jonny Greenwood to "There Will Be Blood", guitar-ambient landscape borrowed from Howard Shore from "Crash", and a common approach to the use of "field recordings" spies upon Amon Tobin and inFamous game (special resemblance with inFamous adds cello in Ezio Confronts Lucrezia), but overall it creates an entirely new experience of Kyd's music, and probably for the sake of this the melodiousness was sacrificed. For the same reason all the major, central part of the album - the most inexpressive and lacking depth part. In The Pantheon we hear the lowest key, in the Villa Under Attack and the Battle in Spain - chorales in the style of Hitman, but either way, the basis of these and many other tracks is the same percussion, metallic clanks, noises, tapping and creaking. The Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood official soundtrack deficiencies bonus tracks for the whole completeness. Ubisoft could include here Abstergo Escape, Venice Escape Low and a beautiful piano track that plays after the liberation of the citadel of Forli in the Assassin's Creed 2. Nevertheless, the completion of the album is pretty neat - a shrill sad solo violin to the accompaniment of soft pulsating synthesizers in Desmond Miles and slow spillover electronic keys in the VR Room, as well as the final analog trip Apple Chamber - love letter to Klaus Schulze.