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Soundtrack review: Revelation (Neal Acree – 2015)

revel

“Revelation” is a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) from the Chinese video game studio NetEase. So far the score for the game has only been released in China and game music fans have been eager to give it a listen. The score is written by Neal Acree, one of my favorite game score composers. Besides, I am very drawn with scores that have Asian influences so there are nothing but good premises for me to enjoy this composition.

It’s a rare feeling to experience but as I listen to the main theme I realize that I don’t need anything else musically to satisfy me on every level; the emotion, the tenderness, the adventure and the way the instruments dance with each other create a musical tapestry so beautiful that I want to be part of that world; I want to experience all the feelings this theme plants inside me and I want to keep this melody close to me. It’s an opening theme and a thundering conclusion in the same 5 minutes, the end credits and the love theme all united in one of the best cues of 2015 without a doubt. When it’s over I realized that there are 20 more cues to listen to and I almost feel like pausing for a little while so I wouldn’t waste them.

As the music progresses I close my eyes and let the images it creates develop inside me. I feel as if I’m seeing a huge canvas on which the most skilled of writers proves his or her calligraphy skills. This is what Neal Acree does with his music: he paints with his notes and reveals what had always been written on that canvas. His cues are deeper and more layered than you would expect and have that wonderful feeling of falling without fear of getting lost. I don’t even pay attention to when a cue stops and the other one begins because it makes no difference. This entire composition is to be enjoyed fully. I love the world it shows me and I love the peace I find inside as I listen to “Revelation”. I can’t even imagine how beautiful the game must be with a score like this. Usually with a movie score the story is already told and you can’t change it but a game…you influence the story, you can change what happens and the music gives me strength and inspiration and could keep me going for hours.

For me this is Neal Acree’s best work and you don’t have to be a fan of his music or even a game score fan to just marvel at the beauty of the music. I can tell how personal this was for him to write it because of how much heart there is in the music. You can’t write music like this if you don’t feel it and believe in it; and as an artist, there’s also no easier and better way to connect with your audience than just being honest and opened with your form of art. Neal Acree revealed himself here in a way I’ve rarely heard him do and this is a score for the ages. An Asian influenced score never sounded as good as this one.

PS Luckily the score will finally be released in April 2016 by Varese Sarabande so fans can own this one!

Cue rating: 100 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 45 / 45

Album excellence: 100%

Highlights:

01 Main Title
02 Entrance To The Capital
03 Palace Area Of The Capital
04 Holy Wings
05 Capital Plaza
06 Capital Living Area
07 Stele Forest
08 In To Battle
09 Oracle Academy
10 Jade Maple Paddock
11 Jade Maple Villa
12 Forever Gone Desert
13 Hall Of Dragon Flame
14 Endless Night
15 Spirits
16 Lair Of The Wolf
17 The Spider Queen
18 Spirit Town
20 Sword Tomb
21 Journey’s End

 

 

 

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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