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Revelation by Neal Acree (Review)

posted May 5, 2016, 3:52 PM by Kaya Savas

Revelation is an MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) from China that is scored by acclaimed video game composer Neal Acree. Neal has made a name for himself by scoring games like World Of Warcraft: Mists Of Pandaria, Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls and Overwatch. With Revelation, Neal Acree has taken on more than just a job. The score here encompasses a time when his father was diagnosed with cancer and sadly passed away. This was the last score his father got to hear, and it represented his father’s love for Asian culture. Acree’s father connected so deeply with Asian culture beyond just films and music, that he became a Buddhist late in his life. So in a sense, this score encapsulates Neal Acree’s whole life growing up with his father up till the end, and you can tell it came from the heart. The score here is a rich and beautiful Chinese fantasy adventure from start to finish.

Revelation’s structure of being an MMORPG leaves a lot of freedom to the composer. The unstructured and non-linear format of the gameplay allows the composer to truly flesh out the world musically from the ground up. The music focuses mainly on scoring locations as well as providing some action and adventure tracks for when battles ensue. The score can be delicate and intimate in areas yet robust and thrilling in others. The orchestral flourish of the whole experience gives everything this organic flow. The grand main theme and melodic approach makes the score come alive, it feels like there is so much history and culture in this music. While there is no real character development or structured narrative, the score still manages to take you on a journey. You feel this wholeness and completeness once the score comes to a close, the music really takes you on an adventure.

Revelation is a beautiful score from start to finish. There are so many wonderful moments that include intimate beauty, thrilling grandeur and an overall organic flow. Neal Acree may be an American, but his immersion in Asian culture through his father formed a bond that clearly is present in this score. The score works so well on the level of just a video game score, but when you take into context that it’s a love letter and representation of the final months of Neal Acree’s father’s life then it takes a different meaning as an art form. The score is well worth getting lost in.