- Composed by Steve Jablonsky and Jacob Shea
- Sumthing Else / 2013 / 57m
Gears of War: Judgment is the fourth entry in the popular third-person shooter franchise of Xbox games. The previous two entries in the series were both scored by Steve Jablonsky, who returns this time round with a co-composer, Jacob Shea. I will be even lazier than usual by allowing the first of my two paragraphs to quote in its entirety the only customer review of this album currently available at amazon.com – with apologies for breaking any rules I may be breaking. It seems that Jablonsky took the helm once again, despite Epic only having an advisory/executive production style role on Judgment. If you approach this soundtrack looking for more music in the vein of Gears of War 1-3, you are likely to be disappointed. Gone are the epic style instrumental tracks with lots of instruments layering up for an orchestral feel. What we have is a trimmed back amount of instruments, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s just not “the same.” A lot of the tracks feel like they are designed to get your heart pumping and filled with synth. It just feels more “metal” and less epic this way. The thing is, in game, the music works. For me this soundtrack is a mixed bag. I was hoping for the more orchestral over “rock,” (rock isn’t really the right term, but it sorta fits) but it’s not bad, it’s just not as great as the previous entries. Recommended, with the caveat that if you want music just like 1-3, you won’t likely be happy. The reviewer, Stephen M. Lerch, awards the album five stars out of five.
As usual, I will attempt to be more succinct in my own review. The album starts – there is a 57-minute period of highly-unpleasant noise – and then the album ends. I think that pretty much says it all (with apologies to Mr Lerch), but in the interests of filling up a bit of space I’ll add a couple more sentences. There are electric guitars! There are keyboards! There are samples! There are drums! What more could you want? Well, I guess you could want something resembling compelling musical drama, or perhaps the merest scintilla of compositional prowess, and I’m afraid if that is indeed what you want then you are unlikely to award quite as many stars as Mr Lerch.
Rating: No stars