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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
  • Composed by Harry Gregson-Williams and Audiomachine
  • Activision / 2014 / 76m

2014’s installment in the Call of Duty video game behemoth is Advanced Warfare, set a few decades in the future when a private army is dictating the direction of the world (as if that would ever happen).  The series has never stuck to a regular composer, and this time round goes back to Harry Gregson-Williams (who c0-composed Modern Warfare a few years ago) to write the main theme and some other key sequences, with the rest composed by a gentleman called Audiomachine.  Gregson-Williams’s Overture starts the album off decently enough, a dramatic tension-builder primarily orchestral but with inevitable synth percussion accompaniment – it’s not particularly distinctive, but there’s a nice wash of heroism running through it and it’s worth hearing.  Gregson-Williams’s half an hour or so on the album is all like that, really – there’s a touch of flair about it and it would probably make a decent little album by itself.  There are a few thrills to be had in his cues,a patriotic outburst or two along with a few surprisingly tender moments, but unfortunately most of them last barely a minute so don’t have chance to leave much of an impression.

Unfortunately there’s also the 50 minutes of Audiomachine to sit through, the first of which is “Draconian Dream”, an absolutely vile rugged electronic onslaught with the dreaded Man of Steel percussion that is sadly typical of what is to come.  I’m sure it’s designed to be unpleasant and it certainly achieves that.  The only positive thing I can say about their 19 tracks is that individually they don’t last that long.  No doubt they were acting under instructions to write music in this style, but that doesn’t make it any less horrible.  Still, I’m sure that fans of listening to domestic appliances (microwaves, vacuum cleaners, tumble dryers etc) will be big fans of it because it frequently sounds much like that.  At least it makes Gregson-Williams’s contributions sound better than they otherwise would.

Rating: * 1/2 (*** for Gregson-Williams, no stars for Audiomachine and that’s quite generous) | |

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  1. Callum Hofler (Reply) on Sunday 9 November, 2014 at 02:18

    I was thoroughly disappointed by this effort as well. I found some of the Audiomachine material somewhat decent, and I enjoyed Draconian Dream, but most of it was as you described; vile. Gregson-William’s material was decent though.

  2. A Guest (Reply) on Wednesday 12 November, 2014 at 08:59

    Although I agree with Hofler and the part of your review concerning Harry Gregson-Williams, you’re just bashing Audiomachine, which you apparently think is an electronic artist. Audiomachine is a trailer music company, and Paul Dinletir is the composer who wrote the music for the game.
    I agree that many of the the cues by Audiomachine were unpleasant to listen to, but they probably work very well in-game. (I haven’t played it). However, I’m disappointed by the fact that Dinletir’s contribution consists purely of the grating, percussion-heavy action cues. He has composed some great orchestral music and could have composed a good theme for this game.
    And your review is a great injustice to both household appliances and Audiomachine’s cues. The two sound nothing alike.

  3. A Guest (Reply) on Wednesday 12 November, 2014 at 09:07

    Unless, of course, washing machines make rhythmic pounding noises and vacuum cleaners make the BWAAM sounds of Inception.

  4. Rip Quilta (Reply) on Monday 5 January, 2015 at 03:19

    I agree, just played through the campaign and after loving the soundtracks to the MW series this is an insult to the franchise and fans who love it. The worst part for the composers is that you can hardly hear any music during the game (maybe because it’s just not worth bringing forward in the mix). Bring back Hans, Lorne and Co. and perhaps give the franchise back to Treyarch.