Музыка из игры Warhammer: Печать Хаоса (Mark of Chaos)

Warhammer: Печать Хаоса (Mark of Chaos), Музыка из игры. Передняя обложка. Click to zoom.
Warhammer: Печать Хаоса (Mark of Chaos), Музыка из игры
Передняя обложка
Composed by Джереми Соул
Published by Новый Диск
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 1 CD - 27 Tracks
Release date March 15, 2007
Duration 00:50:01
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First appearing in 1983, the Warhammer series of tabletop wargames has become one of the fantasy genre's most successful franchises. The brand now extends across several different media, among them of course video games. One of the many iterations of the Warhammer franchise on home computers has been Warhammer: Mark of Chaos, released in 2006. Like most Warhammer games of the past 15 years, it presented the brand's distinctive fantasy world in the context of a RTS title. However, Mark of Chaos went on to gather only mildly positive reviews that were a step down from the critical acclaim that Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War had received. As on that previous title, Jeremy Soule would contribute the game's soundtrack. This time, he would shift the music's focus from Dawn of War's sci-fi stylings to more fantasy-influenced tones. First available as part of the game's collector's edition, Mark of Chaos' score was later released as a digital download on Soule online music store DirectSong.


After Dawn of War's quite varied soundtrack that drew upon both militaristic bombast and synth-based atmospheric musings, the biggest surprise about Mark of Chaos is how utterly dreary and monotonous it sounds. Part of the blame must be laid at the feet of the almost never changing orchestrations: the focus is almost exclusively on the orchestra's lower registers. Deep strings, slow brass and various heavy percussion instruments are mostly everything the listener is going to hear. Although Soule stated in an interview that he was "working to find creative uses of some of the more feminine instruments of the orchestra" and that the "smaller instruments are speaking in shrill and urgent terms", there's no evidence of this on Mark of Chaos. Sure, there are some woodwinds to be heard on "The Aftermath of War" and "Mark of Chaos". And occasionally, the violins get to contribute more than just tremoli and bland underscore. Also, "From the North They Come" and "Dark Winds" add some electronic flourishes in the form of dark synth pads and quiet synthesised percussion. But most of the time, the listener would never guess that there's different races living in Mark of Chaos' world: the music is the same monochromatic bore throughout.

Such a narrow instrumental focus isn't necessarily a problem, but the dullness that characterises Mark of Chaos' orchestrations permeates the score in other regards as well. The majority of the album is based on the same lumbering, heavy rhythms that are probably meant to underscore armies marching to war. But while these rhythms add a constant militaristic edge to the score, they never become rousing or even remotely interesting, plodding through most pieces' background like a walrus on tranquillisers. Over these unengaging rhythms, which are usually courtesy of churning deep strings and percussion, Soule lays the brass section in either fanfare-like motifs or slow progressions that want to sound noble and mighty, but they never do so. What's even more surprising about Mark of Chaos is its lack of rowdy action tracks. You'd think that a soundtrack for a game about huge armies clashing on the battle field would at least deliver on sheer volume and noise. But not so: there are only a few outright battle cues on Mark of Chaos. And while the music does wake up a little bit on tracks like "For the Dark Gods!", "The Talebheim Centre" and "Onwards to Victory!", all that really happens is that these pieces speed up those anonymous string and percussion rhythms, add some brass hits — that get pretty repetitive on "Skulls for the Skull Throne" — and that's it. Try as hard as you want, you'll have trouble waking up your neighbours with this score.

It doesn't help that none of these action tracks have a sense of direction, with all the busy rhythms, string ostinati and swelling brass motifs having no clue where to go next, apart from the occasional crescendo. These compositions simply start, churn away for about two minutes max, and then stop. And again, this problem is evident on the whole album — particularly on those cues that aren't supposed to be calls to war. Or maybe they are, but most pieces on this album are so strangely subdued in their lack of aggression, so underdeveloped, that the majority of Mark of Chaos simply registers as third-rate mood music that's best left to play somewhere in the background. In the same interview, Soule mentioned his research of music from the Dark Ages, it being "the closest thing we have to Warhammer" and that the compositions he studied "were generally very simple, monophonic, and sometimes very provocative." And Mark of Chaos certainly is provocative, but not in a good, or even interesting, way. It's all one slow crawl as there are no climaxes to speak of, no melodies of interest to shape the music. The opening track "Warhammer Theme" presents a four-note brass motif that is probably meant to function as the score's main theme. But it's too bland to really register and if it returns throughout the score, it's lost amongst the sea of more similar-styled, forgettable brass material.

Ironically, these glaring faults are made all the more obvious by the few pieces that actually work. "Sigmar Protects", "Forges of Nuln" and "Mark of Chaos" are the only cues where Soule applies his omnipresent formula with success. On these tracks, he writes some energetic, rousing brass material that unfortunately demonstrates how unremarkable this ensemble's sound is on other pieces. And lo and behold, "Forges of Nuln" even features some noticeable changes in orchestration and lets the violins take centre stage for a little bit. Then again, "Mark of Chaos" is too short to really make an impact and "Sigmar Protects" manages to repeat its pleasant melody way too often in just a bit more than two minutes running time. Of note are also "The Siege of Gotterung" and "The Aftermath of War", which opt for more sorrowful, solemn tones. Here Soule displays that he certainly knows how to write atmospheric music with a melodic focus — the humming choir on "The Aftermath of War" for example is an effective idea. It's all the more puzzling then why the rest of the score is so devoid of these qualities.


There's not much to say here really: it all sounds the same on Warhammer: Mark of Chaos. The orchestrations are devoid of colour and life and rarely change; the constantly heavy mood permeates and suffocates the dull music, which suffers from an utter lack of development and melody. The soundtrack just keeps on rambling without going anywhere. And most of the time it does so at such reduced levels of volume and drama that it doesn't even work as mindless background noise for another Warhammer session — one of the few things the next Warhammer score, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II, would improve upon. All things told, Mark of Chaos is a major disappointment, particularly when compared against Soule's more successful and popular works. If you are a die-hard Soule or Warhammer fan, make sure to listen to two to three tracks from the album before purchasing it — chances are you'll hear everything there is to hear.


Music in game


Simon Elchlepp

Comes with Collector's version of game

В России вышел саундтрек Warhammer: Mark of Chaos

Россия - страна талантов. Пока одни обещают, но не делают (поклон саундтреку Сталкера, почившего в бозе), другие делают, но молчат. Не иначе, как развивают телепатические способности у людей.Вот и намедни приключилось интересное: выпущенное в России коллекционное издание Warhammer: Mark of Chaos мало того, что отдаётся всем... Показать

 19.03.2007    1502
Album was composed by Джереми Соул and was released on March 15, 2007. Soundtrack consists of tracks with duration over about 50 minutes. Album was released by Новый Диск.

CD 1

Warhammer Theme
Trial of the Gods
The Hordes Advance
For the Dark Gods!
Preparing for Battle
Men of the Empire, Make Ready!
Sigmar Protects
Forges of Nuln
From the North They Come
Leave None Alive!
The Siege of Gotterung
Onwards to Victory!
Patrolling the Old World
Unscrupulous Methods
Skulls for the Skull Throne!
Dark Winds
Stefan's Vengeance
For the Emperor
Vigilance and Strength
Sudobaal's Treachery
Stalking the Prize
Shallya Watch Over Us
Patrolling the Borders
The Aftermath of War
The Talebheim Crater
Grim Preparations
Mark of Chaos
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