Gaming Soundtracks: Myth I and II

I must admit, I've been tempted more then a few times to either change this blogs focus to deal more heavily in game based soundtracks and music or start yet another blog (that would make the fourth) that deals with the topic. Really, it wouldn't be too bad an idea, well, starting a fourth blog maybe not, but adding soundtrack material to this blog, primarily because I can listen to music a lot easier then I can play a game simply by virtue that I can listen and do other things at the same time. Gaming is a bit harder to multi-task with simply because the typical game is an adventure in multi-tasking all unto itself. Jump left to dodge the fire while selecting the best means of countering the fire but watch out for the trench, and don't damage that target and...you get the idea.

Today's entry is actually yet another bit of long overdue aftermath stemming from the Top Ten Best Soundtracks countdown I did a few months ago. Most of you readers may recall that Martin O' Donnell took 3 of the top ten places, a fact which some appreciated and some despised for various reasons. One reader however, took a different route then most. He simply asked if I had heard Martin O' Donnell's previous work on the Myth soundtracks, and when I said no, took it upon himself to get me copies of both so that I could listen to them.

The first thing that I noticed about Myth I and II was that the sound was unmistakeably O' Donnell. You may remember that I referred to the "heavy percussion" that O' Donnell has made a signature of his work. Myth is proof that this didn't start with Halo, and contains all the many deep, heavy, hitting bass drum sounds I've come to expect from O' Donnell. The tunes are shorter then his later works, most lasting only a minute or two, the longest lasting a mere four compared to his later works which averaged three minutes and could stretch to eleven. However, just because they are shorter does not mean they are less of a song to listen to. Listening to Myth, especially Myth II you can clearly hear the elements of style that have years later become such a signature of O' Donnell.

So would either soundtrack make it too the top ten? Unfortunately no, although Myth II would probably make it into a top twenty, somewhere near the original Halo soundtrack as both are very similar in style and experience to the point where you can hear experimentation with melody cascades, shifts and instruments that lead from one to the other. For a direct comparison, I would recommend listening to the Epilogue from Myth II and the the Truth and Reconciliation Suite from the first Halo, which clearly are related in terms of style and composition, one building on the success of the other.

I would recommend both Myth I and II as good additions to any soundtrack lovers library, although I must give more recommendation to Myth II, which built itself higher then it's predecessor. I would feel comfortable saying that, for me, its a 4 star (out of 5) album.

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