game score

Soundtrack review: Lords of the fallen (Knut Avenstroup Haugen – 2014)

fallen
Melodic, emotional and with killer choirs, both epic and tender, as its backbone, “Lords of the fallen” left me very satisfied and inspired

“Lords of the fallen” is an action role playing game, and another score release in what has been an unforgettable year for game scores. Norwegian composer Knut Avenstroup Haugen wrote the score, and he was completely unknown to me.

The score starts promising. It’s by the numbers epic game music, and that’s very exciting. The first three cues are short, intense and brilliant. Once the cues get longer, they are clear hit and miss. “Penance” is great and would also work as a horror track. “God’s palm”, not so much. Still, the score never loses its pace and epic factor, and it’s a very enjoyable listen from beginning to end.

I love the choir work on “Lords of the fallen”. It actually makes some cues sound even better than they would sound without. I found myself listening to a cue like “The lords”, not terribly excited, and then the choirs kicked in and made this cue soar. I have to mention “Mortification” because it starts with a string section taken right out of the Star Wars scores. Come to think, the choirs in this track are also reminiscent of those masterpieces.  This is the most exciting track of the score, without a doubt. “Sacrifice” is another highlight…a solo female voice leads in the strings and what sounds like bag pipes which come together in a truly memorable track. I get the feeling of a departure that leaves some hope behind. “Atonement” is a beautiful flute based track which represents the heart of this score.

Melodic, emotional and with killer choirs, both epic and tender, as its backbone, “Lords of the fallen” left me very satisfied and inspired. It will definitely end up among the best game scores of the year, and a favorite of mine. If you don’t trust me, just listen to “Winter’s kiss”, the main theme of this score, and you will be convinced.

Cue rating: 84 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 29 / 41

Album excellence: 71%

 

Highlights:

Prologue – The night

Harkyn’s journey

Cursed and abandoned

Penance

The lords

Sacrifice

Temple of torture

Atonement

Winter’s kiss (main theme)

Epilogue: The darkness

 

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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