Monday, March 6, 2017

Average Out Of Context, The Destiny Original Soundtrack Is Interesting!

The Good: Some inspired, action-themed orchestral tunes, Good duration, Musical completion of pieces
The Bad: Some of the shorter pieces are not nearly as evocative or engaging, Somewhat musically fractured as an album.
The Basics: The Destiny Original Soundtrack is an interesting musical experience that holds up well on its own, but is still limited some by the source material.

Over the last year, I have gotten into video games much more than I ever thought I would. I never thought of myself as a gamer, but it turns out I truly enjoy gaming, even if I am not much good at it. I spent last year playing Star Wars: Battlefront (reviewed here!) before my wife encouraged me to try something different by picking me up Destiny: The Complete Collection. I've spent the past two months immersed in Destiny and, generally, enjoying it. One of the most distinctive aspects of Destiny is the music that plays throughout the story modes and raids and that made me check out the Destiny Original Soundtrack.

The Destiny Original Soundtrack is a collection of 44 tracks, clocking out at more than two hours worth of music, most of which is dominated by Michael Salvatori's work. Michael Salvatori is not Howard Shore, but for those who like the soundtrack themes of Howard Shore, they are likely to find quite a bit of enjoyment in Salvatori's work on the Destiny Original Soundtrack. The Destiny Original Soundtrack is essentially a new Classical music work with decently-developed musical pieces that stand on their own outside the context of the Destiny video game.

Most of the songs on the Destiny Original Soundtrack are keyboard and string-dominated classical sounding pieces. The works alternate between mood, contemplative, pieces and action-oriented, active pieces that are infused with extra percussion. Tracks like "The Last Array" have a sense of musical completion to them that take the listener on a journey into the imagination as effectively as any classical music. Michael Salvatori is an incredibly adept and proficient musical storyteller and there is a lot on Destiny Original Soundtrack that stands effectively apart from the Destiny video game to please the ear and excite the listener's imagination.

While most of the works on the Destiny Original Soundtrack work well as individual musical pieces that manage to emote and tell their own musical story, the soundtrack is hampered by a few pieces that feel more like ambient music for another work. Chief among these is "Prey" which is bassy and oppressive, but short and feels unresolved as a result. Lighter, more developed musical tunes like "Tranquility," which follows "Prey" manage to hold up better on their own and feel like complete musical works that are utterly independent of any other work for their sense of musical expression.

Michael Salvatori's compositions on the Destiny Original Soundtrack are mostly good, mood-evoking classical style music pieces, but the contradictions between the action themes and the more cerebral mood pieces next to one another on the album makes for a somewhat less cohesive musical experience. The listener is not put into a musical story that continues to evolve, they listen to fragments - mini-immersions - of a tale that changes radically, sometimes unsettlingly, from track to track. The music is well-made and (unlike most soundtracks) features rather complete musical experiences for the most part, but the Destiny Original Soundtrack is still very dependent upon its source material, as opposed to being a truly satisfying, self-contained musical experience.

For other soundtrack reviews, please visit my takes on:
Firefly The Original Television Soundtrack
"The Best Of Both Worlds" Star Trek: The Next Generation Soundtrack
The Little Mermaid Soundtrack


For other music reviews, please check out my Music Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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