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Halo 5: Guardians by Kazuma Jinnouchi (Review)

posted Jan 8, 2016, 2:27 PM by Leo Mayr

The Halo-series is one of these things I just don't get. There's something to these games people seem to like but after trying out two different games (Halo Reach and Halo 4, for those wondering), I have yet to find that something. The music, I concluded relies on a very subtle theme that consists mostly of choir and feels more like the beauty of exploding space than an action packed first person shooter, but it did its job. In its entirety though, the series has always remained as "yeah, it's there but right now I don't have the time for it" in my head. When I was browsing the iTunes store for some new music, I stumbeled on Kazuma Jinnouchi's score album for the newest entry in the franchise, and after listening to a few of the samples, I decided to give it a go.

The album opens as you'd expect. A subtle yet stunning choir theme followed by a lot of ambient tracks and a few exciting bursts of action. (When I say a few, please keep in mind that this album consists of two discs...) What immediately caught my eye (or 'ears' to be exact) was the excellent fusion of orchestra and electronics. The orchestral sections luckily dominate the music but the electronics that are added to the mix just feel right. They rarely become too dominant leaving space for well structured orchestral action and only adding that little something that makes this score so unique and fun. Thats how I'd describe the action in general. A surprisingly fun blend of orchestral and electronic music. To me, an orchestral section can sound so much more intense than electronic action. 

The ambient tracks are surprisingly well composed considering that this is a videogame score. If you did not tell me what I was listening to, I'd say this is a big budget movie. But then again, this is what I so love about games recently. The music gets the attention (and budget) it needs. The music is an absolute joy to listen to and despite the long album, Jinnouchi manages to create an interesting experience throughout. Personal favourite tracks, despite being hard to name are "Sentry Battle", "Walk Softly" and the incredible "The Trials".

While prevoius Halo scores never managed to grab my attention for long, Kazuma Jinnouchi managed to create one of the few videogame score's I would consider as 'perfect'. The music if well structured, well composed and overall just fun to listen to over and over again.