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Destiny: Rise Of Iron by Michael Salvatori, Skye Lewin, C Paul Johnson & Rotem Moav (Review)

posted Oct 15, 2016, 12:37 AM by Leo Mayr

Rise Of Iron
is the second major expansion to 2014's highly popular videogame Destiny. Of the four initial composers, only Michael Salvatori and C Paul Johnson remain, with Rotem Moav being the latest addition to the team of composers. What made Destiny stand out right from the start was the extensive score, utilizing both orchestral and electronic music, not in a hybrid combination, but instead as two different aspects of the overall soundscape. Depending on the enemies and planets you encounter, the music changes in style and sound as well as thematically. The first expansion kept to the sounds determined by the main game, a stunning combination of sci-fi and fantasy genres.

For the latest addition, the composers went even further into the fantasy side of things, with an increased focus on choir. The Rise Of Iron main theme starts out like you'd expect from Destiny with a soft and mysterious theme focusing heavily on choir. The theme then quickly evolves into a more orchestral track that then bursts into the bold main theme. It's one of those themes that are just right. A bold and glorious theme that could even rival the "Dragonborn" theme from Skyrim. A loud and bold theme, hinting at long forgotten heroes. It's one of those themes you can just lose yourself in. While the track "Rise Of Iron" is the perfect choice to experience the theme, a short and isolated representation can be found in "At Peace". The main theme appears during key moments of the score, before it perfectly makes up the final climactic action track. The score contains hardly any electronics, but when they do kick in in "Siege Engine", they do so in a very distinctive way. Instead of electronics, the score consists mostly of great orchestral tracks and a lot of choir. A great example is "Ad Victoriam". For "Brave The Storm", a simple piano motif gets thrown into the mix and despite being an unusual sound for the overall soundscape it works incredibly well in this track.

The score contains a lot of great action tracks, rarely dropping the pace. The music is exceptionally well composed, and with a strong emotional component, the experience becomes all the more engaging. When the climax happens with "Forged In Flame" and "Iron Tomb", it does so in a grand fashion. The occasional peaceful moments are well composed and engaging. The final track, "Sepiks Redux" is a fun nod to the score for the base game, reintroducing the boss theme "Sepiks Prime" played by electric guitars.

Where the previous Destiny scores contained a large amount of themes, styles and ideas, Rise Of Iron centers around one main storyline, represented by the stunning main theme. Of all of the music found in the three Destiny scores, Rise Of Iron is probably the most refined and focused experience.
These days, finding a mostly orchestral sci-fi videogame score is rare enough, so recent examples like Rise Of Iron and Chad Seiter's ReCore really remind us how great orchestral music can be.