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Assassin’s Creed Unity – Volume 1
  • Composed by Chris Tilton
  • Ubisoft Music / 2014 / 77m

The first installment of the ever-popular Assassin’s Creed franchise developed exclusively for the latest generation of consoles, Unity takes place in Paris during the French revolution and it looks set to continue the series’ success.  Brian Tyler wrote an enjoyable score for last year’s Black Flag (though it wasn’t well-served by its overlong soundtrack album) but the developers took a new musical route this time, setting three different composers loose on the game – Chris Tilton, Sarah Schachner and Ryan Amon.  Music by the first two has been released in two separate volumes.  Tilton concentrated on the main narrative story and his very satisfying, entertaining music is very much in his signature sound heard most prominently recently in Fringe (but in general throughout his career), classy orchestral music in a modern action style with all sorts of distinctive flourishes and flair, a compelling narrative thrust and a whole host of thrills.

Don’t expect much in the way of period music here – most film composers whip their accordions out (not a euphemism) whenever anyone so much as mentions Paris in a movie, but for this game Tilton opted instead to score the drama and the action “straight” rather than scoring the location.  The long album is dominated by action – dramatic string runs with tried-and-tested brass and percussion propulsion to drive it all forward.  It’s extremely enjoyable.  There are some more tender moments, frequently accenting lovely piano solos, which add some balance to allow some breathing room between the action.  It’s not really traditionally thematic music, but there is a nice little theme heard occasionally that binds things together.  It’s all impressive stuff, the 2014 version I guess of those great 1990s action scores by Jerry Goldsmith, full of energy and vigour and great technique.  There’s no reinvention of the wheel here, but it’s very enjoyable indeed and will appeal to all fans of the composer and of orchestra-based modern action music in general.

Rating: *** 1/2 | |

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  1. orion_mk3 (Reply) on Saturday 22 November, 2014 at 21:16

    Hm, I didn’t know Tilton and Amon were attached to this! I would personally have preferred that they gave Olivier Derivière the keys to the franchise–being both an authentic Frenchman and the author of the fantastic ACIV expansion pack–but it could be interesting.